This was a message I got in my inbox from one of the people on my ship. It had been sent to him from a guy and his family. I have left their names out because I want their identity to be secured...but this email was such a huge encouragement to me, that I had to share it...
Thank you doesn't seem like saying enough to all of you wonderful men and women of the United States Navy. I’m sure you’re wondering what motivated us to contact you, so please let me explain. Over the past few months here in our hometown we have noticed a change in peoples attitude toward Military Service. We don’t see the Yellow Ribbons and American Flags like we used to and it seems that the idea of another Terrorist attack is farther and farther from people’s minds. Some have gone as far as to forget that we truly do live in a dangerous world and there are indeed certain groups of people who wish us harm for simply being American. It seems a far cry from a few short years ago when everyone knew the quality of those that serve our country and were deeply committed to supporting their efforts.
I think that what is most often missed now days is the defense of Freedom, and with that, those who have committed their lives to do so. At a time when we, the ordinary citizens, are consumed with Carbon Emissions and Universal Health Care, we find it all too easy to forget those that truly make a difference in the lives of people around the world, the United States Armed Forces. Unfortunately, some of our fellow citizens ignore the amazing accomplishments of our Military over the past 8 years, and focus on issues that sound really good but in the long run don’t accomplish very much. I won’t pretend to understand the nuances of International Diplomacy or Domestic Policy, however I do know that there are tens of thousands of people in war torn areas who greet even a rumor of the arrival of the United States Military with gratitude and relief. They do this because they know that with these Men and Women comes a chance for peace, security, and the hope for a better tomorrow. I am not sure why we don’t see more of these facts on the Evening News.
Our family simply believes that your efforts are just, and they are having an impact far beyond the security of our beloved country. In these chaotic times we as parents often lament the lack of someone our children can look up to and aspire to follow. Faced with this, we begin to think there are no more Heroes left in the world that embody the qualities that we hope for in future generations. We want to believe in someone who will every day demonstrate the Respect, Self Sacrifice, and Moral Character that is so scarce in our society today even in some of our most trusted elected officials. If only we could open our eyes and see that there are those that still embrace these qualities and realize that they are what we have been hoping for. It is you, the Men and Women of the United States Navy, who are the HEROES that this nation so desperately depends on.
These are not merely empty words of praise, but are heartfelt and sincere due to our own personal experiences. The Sailors it has been our pleasure to know have been a source of strength and joy to my family and I through good times and bad. They have served as an inspiration to my children who view them not as the poor Sailor who is stuck on a Ship somewhere but rather as the Sailor who, as my youngest daughter puts it, “helps keep the bad people away and helps people when they can’t help themselves”. This selfless Dedication to others is what sets the United States Navy apart from the rest of us, and it truly does give, at least our family, peace of mind knowing that you are always there. I have often asked myself, how do you tell someone that is willing to endure untold hardships, danger on and unimaginable scale, and possibly sacrifice their very lives to defend us, how much you appreciate them? I truly wish that I could come up with something that would be an inspiration to you but all I can offer is the voice of one American family to simply say “Thank You”. I hope with this you will understand why you all mean so much to us and why that I felt I had to do something to let you know. If I was to ever ask you for anything it would be this, always remember that you are not forgotten and our only wish is that we could do more to support you.