December 26, 2010

Oliver North has penned this tribute to our brave men and women who have served, and serve today, in our armed forces in places both near and far. It’s a poignant reminder of the loneliness they and their loved ones must feel while the sacrifices they have made and are making keep us safe and cozy amidst our own Christmas cheer:

The Christmas season is rarely a holiday for Americans serving in uniform — or their families waiting anxiously at home. George Washington led the Continental Army on a perilous crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas in 1776. A year later, the tiny force barely survived the privations of winter at Valley Forge, Pa.

Throughout World War II, the birth of Christ was anything but a celebration. Wake Island fell two days before Christmas in 1941. The following year, American troops were taking heavy casualties in North Africa and Guadalcanal. For U.S. soldiers battling their way up the Italian Peninsula and the Marines and sailors at Rabaul and Cape Gloucester, Christmas of 1943 was miserable. On Christmas Day in 1944, the 101st Airborne was surrounded at Bastogne.

During the Korean War, every Christmas season was a “living, frigid hell” right from the start. On the first Christmas Eve we were there (in 1950), U.S. and Republic of Korea troops completed the evacuation of Hungnam and saved the lives of more than 90,000 refugees. Every Christmas in Vietnam was a lonely test of courage and perseverance. Little has changed today.

While we’re warm and surrounded by loved ones on Christmas morning, the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province and the 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th BCT in Nangarhar province are battling a vicious enemy and bitter cold. Their 101st Air Assault comrades of 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT in Kandahar province are having a somber commemoration in memory of their mates who lost their lives this month. More than a dozen members of the 101st Airborne have been killed in action since Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, their families at Fort Campbell, Ky., observe the holiday without their soldiers.

Read the whole thing.

I’ll leave it to Elvis to close this post out perfectly. Take it, King….

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:26 | Comments (0)
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