I am so tired of hearing my fellow Americans lash out at our soldiers overseas. It doesn't matter if they're in Iraq, Afghanistan or any other place where injustices are being committed against other human beings.
My father was career military and, let me tell you, he expected his house to be run like a well-oiled machine. Sometimes, it was rough growing up. We lived overseas a lot and, during the years after World War II, it was difficult being a child in a country that had no bubble gum, no hamburgers and, worst of all, no television.
Of course, I guess nobody had television back then. Still, during the '50s, the folks in America had their in home entertainment while the military kids overseas had to find their own.
Finding our own entertainment meant reading books, listening to music, having sleepovers and going to the occasional party. There was no such thing as drinking alcohol or doing drugs. We were too busy trying to find a way to get to our friend's house and back again. You see, teenagers were not allowed to have a driver's license back then, nor were we allowed to have summer jobs because it would take work away from the locals.
My father spent the first five years of my life fighting for freedom in Italy. Then he continued fighting, not in the physical sense, but using his God-given gift to solve the many codes that came across his desk at any given time.
We moved to Augusta where he eventually retired at Fort Gordon in the mid '60s.
My husband Jay and I met while he was at Fort Gordon. We married and he was sent to Vietnam. Thank God he came home unscathed. However, it hurt me a lot when watching TV while he was being shot at, and seeing what seemed like half the nation protesting. OK, OK, before you flood the paper with letters, everybody in our country has the right to protest.
But when it goes as far as it did back then, those of us who had husbands and fathers there didn't think it was fair.
Why am I telling you about my life? July 4th is coming up very soon. I was brought up to believe in America. Now that I'm older I don't always agree with what the president does, but I will always back our solders up in whatever way possible. We can't turn against the men and women who believe in what they're doing and who are losing their lives, limbs and sometimes their sanity.
Think about it. You don't have to love George W. Bush. But please, love the young men and women who are following orders because they truly believe in upholding freedom of choice. Continue to voice your opinions. Continue to fight for equal rights here in Columbia County. Continue supporting our troops and our law enforcement officers.
Most importantly, remember that you are only able to do this because we live in the greatest nation on earth.
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)
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