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Nothing Left To Give
by Mark Bradley
06/14/05
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Nothing Left To Give

Ever heard the phrase, ďI gave it all I had.Ē Itís used a lot in sports. Some even use it around the office. But do these people ever really give it all they have? Do most of them even know what it means? I know a few that did. I knew one very well.
This country has been a dominant force in the world for two hundred years. We have grown as a nation and today we have the distinct honor to have liberated more people from their oppression than any nation on Earth. We are a nation of free thinkers and of free ideas. We have the privilege to do what ever we want, within the limits of the law. If we want to start a business, we have the power to do so. We can worship as we please without threat of anyone knocking the door down and throwing us into prison.
But how did we get to this point? Was it our political leaders that granted us that right? Was it our friendships around the world that allowed us to be the home of the brave? Was it our own good nature that granted us the title, ďLand of Opportunity?Ē
Not even close. Iím going to say this once, and in bold type. THE ONLY REASON THAT YOU OR I HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO AS WE SEE FIT IS BECAUSE THERE WERE SOLDIERS THAT FOUGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY AND WERE WILLING TO GIVE ALL THEY HAD.
They volunteered for whatever war came up. They answered the call when freedom was threatened. They fought to preserve the right of every free human being to act as a free human being. It is because of the soldier that we are free. Freedom has always come with a price. The soldier is the one with the heart to pay that price.
The price does not always mean death, though that is the first thing everyone thinks about. Being a soldier is a thankless job. They go months without simple comforts. They are far from their families and friends. They endure the harshest conditions known to man. And they do it all without a moan, a cry, or even a sorrow for what they gave up. They do it because they believe.
They believe in the American dream. They believe that this world is worth saving. The believe that freedom is a righteous and noble cause. Never has there been a type of man that would give so much for so little for nothing more than the idea that what they are doing will matter fifty years down the road. They fight, so you can be free. They have earned your respect, if nothing else.
Some people really bewilder me. They spit on the government. They burn the flag of this country. They wonít sing the national anthem. But they have the gall to say they support the troops. Who are you kidding? You canít support the troops and not believe what they are fighting for. How can you say that you support the troops and then spit on the cause they fight for? They are the army that protects you. Show some sense.
This past Memorial Day was a sad one. While serving in Germany, I had a very close friend. We went to Basic training together, and ended up in the same unit in Germany. As much as anyone, he was my brother. I left Germany and was transferred to Georgia. He went to the 10th mountain. They were sent to Somalia soon after he got there. I learned recently that he was a casualty of that botched mission. Aaron Snyder, ďAceĒ, was my friend. He died serving his country. He died protecting me. He died for your freedom. Donít spit on my friend. He deserves better than that.


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