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November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving: Dear Soldier

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. What are you thankful for? Many of us are truly grateful to have family and friends with us. Unfortunately, thousands of families have a loved one serving overseas who cannot be with them this holiday season. We should all be thankful for the men and women who are serving in the military, at home or abroad, in an effort to protect us.

The following poem is one I penned after a conversation with a dear friend who is on his third tour of duty in Iraq. I'm thankful for some lasting friendships I formed while serving in the U.S. Army as well as for the friendship with military members I've met elsewhere. The term "soldier" is used here to encompass members of all branches of the military. And thanks to FreedomTeamSalute.com, U.S. Army Veterans, a spouse, an employer or an entity that supports the Army can be given a commendation. Please visit their site for more details.

Dear Soldier

Thank you, dear soldier, for your service every single day
For making sure America is a lot less in harm’s way
Being away from home for so long undoubtedly takes its toll
You miss family, friends, everyday comforts… the Lazy Boy and remote control

But your resilient nature kicks in again and again
And you find ways to stay positive until your deployment comes to an end
So America is grateful that she can close her eyes and sleep peacefully at night
Without waking to a terrorist engineered, deadly and tragic plight

The old girl is admired and disliked all at once, curiously
From time to time, outside forces seek to challenge her, hoping to see
If she will be immobilized, struck down via the smallest weakness found
Because of you, dear soldier, she has been able to react, to stand, to rebound

People across this great nation appreciate you putting your personal needs aside
And jumping back into the Humvee and back into battle you ride
Never losing sight of your ultimate goal as you labor to set things right
Not only to keep America safe but to return in the same mental and physical
condition as when you joined the fight

You are also acknowledged, dear soldier assigned to the rear. Your work is
immensely important, too
For it’s your preparation and support that allows our troops serving abroad to
do what they do
We, the American people, want you to know that without you all, she would
fail the enemy’s test
And for that, dear soldier, we remain thankful and vigilantly pray that you are
always safe and forever blessed

Sunida E. York © 2008 All Rights Reserved

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