This morning I am on my way home from a two-week road trip that has taken me to Minneapolis and Kuwait. It has been a long two weeks, and as I sat in the Kuwait Airport last night waiting for the flight to Washington I must admit I was feeling a little sorry for myself for having to be away from my wonderful family for two weeks at a time. And then, I was joined by over a hundred men and women who were headed home from their service to our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some were military - from all branches of the service. Some were contractors. Some had been “in theater” for a few months, others for over a year. Some were young others older than I am (and I am feeling OLD these days). All have been engaged in the hot, dirty, dangerous work of protecting freedom around the world and helping some of the world’s less fortunate attempt the difficult task of building new nations.
There have been a lot of headlines lately about petty bickering at very high levels of our military. Lets not forget that as the headlines are focused on “Runaway Generals” that there are a LOT of very good men and women doing the hard work of building roads and hospitals, establishing security, and training Iraqis and Afghans not only how to fly helicopters but about the importance of the rule of law and the necessity of protecting the political institutions that make justice and human rights possible.
I am humbled by the incredible dedication and sacrifice that these men and women are making for a noble cause. To all of them I say: Thank you for your service.