A Birthday Message for Dave - Sep 28, 04
Although you and your command are in our family's daily thoughts and prayers, you are especially present in our hearts here in St. Louis today on your birthday. While Megan and Emily remind their young classmates each school day at morning prayer at CPOP to pray for the safety of all our brave soldiers fighting for freedom & justice in Iraq, today they will add (as they did along with Kathleen and I at breakfast), and Lord most especially bless and protect Megan's godfather Dave - a brave Marine infantry officer from MO - who is spending this birthday in Iraq fighting for us & our country.
I have known you for nearly 30 years, and yet, during this, your 2nd tour in Iraq, you continue to ACT and LEAD in such a manner that continually humbles me and truly honors me to call you my good friend. While it is difficult to articulate, I sincerely hope you know and understand the prolific level of support that exists for you and your family here at home.
Your eloquent way of clearly and plainly painting the true story of what is happening on the ground in Iraq in your letters to your father is a gift to all that encounter them. And as many other visitors to this site have indicated, your message is being heard and understood despite that what is spewed by the popular press. We believe in you, your fellow Marines and Sailors and the mission you have been given. Let your men know they have the support and admiration of the American people.
John D., the man behind the greenside.com, recently advised me this site has experienced as many as an astounding 9000 hits on a single day - even the LA Times has (Sept 5) published one of your recent letters. Your words are not only being read they are anxiously anticipated by scores of persons throughout this country and others.
Anecdotally, the number of yellow "Support Our Troops" vehicle magnets in the STL area seem to multiplying like rabbits these days - actually see more of these magnets than political bumper stickers in this election season. I recently flew a regional jet from Atlanta where at least 1/3 of the passengers were Army coming home from 8 months in Iraq, and I witnessed dozens of "THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY" exchanged between business man and woman flying that day and those Army soldiers coming home.
You, my friend, are a true Patriot and Leader. I can't help but notice that a theme that runs through your letters is one that highlights the actions and achievements of those men in your command or others in the coalition effort. That is a trait of a true Leader, which you are. Your men are fortunate to have a Leader that inspires his command by example, and paints a clear and understandable vision of the mission ahead of them based on our American core values. You are a mentor and teacher to your command - they and America are fortunate to have such an intelligent, talented, motivational Leader as you at what is now the epicenter in this struggle to stamp out Fundamentally inspired terrorism.
Real leaders, like yourself, never take the credit for what is being accomplished, which is why we don't hear about your medal or your promotions - you instead shine the light on those in your command who, as you properly point out, are displaying heroism on a daily basis. However, the reason I and countless others hold you out as an example of what a true hero is to those most important to us, our children, is because you remind all of us what selflessness, commitment, bravery and honor are all about by your ACTIONS.
Hang tough my man - we will keep the home fire's burning, and will do all we can to spread your inspiring word and help make sure we, at home, have the stomach to see this through. We know you can accomplish all asked to do, when given the green light.
Please take care of yourself and your men. We, in the middle of this great country, are fully aware that we are able to enjoy this gorgeous Fall day because of the sacrifices you and your men are making today, like the sacrifices of those in the military who have gone before you. THANK YOU! from the bottom of our hearts.
May God continue to protect and bless you, your family, and you command on this your birthday. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you/your great family during this second tour of duty.
Esto Vir, Rock Chalk Jayhawk, With Sincere and Utmost Personal Admiration,
Click here to see the source. The Green Side