Adding some anecdotal evidence to Peter’s point below: My son’s pre-school teacher has a 26 year-old son who is a Marine and just left for his second tour of duty in Iraq on Sunday. Adding even more emotion to this parting is the fact that his wife just gave birth to their second son in mid-January.
In talking to her about it, however, she will accept offers of prayers but no show of pity. Her own husband escaped Castro’s Cuba and has told her what it is like to live without freedom. They raised their kids to respect what we have in this country and to understand that it is our responsibility to protect it.
She related the following story of her son’s emotional departure: All of the kids ages 10 and up were summoned and it was pointed out to them that though they were being asked to sacrifice some time with their fathers they had been blessed with the inestimable gift of having been born in a free country. It was also pointed out that that would not have been possible without the sacrifice of many other fathers before. It was further noted that the children of Iraq had not been equally blessed but that their fathers were great heroes for helping to make freedom a possibility for those kids as well as for them.
Great stuff and further proof that we Americans are not made of sugar candy.