Friday, August 14, 2009

Semper Fi

My post for today is a little different from what you're used to seeing here. It's not pictures of butterflies, or a slideshow, or pictures from my latest ramblings.

Today, I'd like to take you to a place far, far away ... and relate the story behind a headline that got my attention on the "AOL Welcome Screen" yesterday. The place is a town called Dahaneh in Afghanistan, where a force of 500 U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers are carrying out an air and ground assault called "Operation Eastern Resolve." The operation is aimed at liberating a key town in the Northern Helmand province of Taliban, and to secure a strategic pass used by Taliban fighters.

FOX News' Greg Palkot is the only reporter traveling with the Marines, and what follows is Palkot's latest report.

August 13: U.S. Marines go door-to-door in Dahaneh, Afghanistan

Day Two of Operation Eastern Resolve is drawing to a close. We are with Golf Company, with the 2/3 Marines, they have had a pretty busy day. And camera man Mal James and I spent some time with the Marines in this very dangerous town. It got off to a little bit of a rough start. We’ve been hearing Taliban fire all around us, coming into contact with the Marines. I can hear it right now.

These Marines are working with another squad, another platoon, as they work their way down this village trying to clear this place. But the Taliban aren’t giving up.

The Marines are going house to house, they’re going compound to compound, to make sure that there are no militants remaining, and they’re doing it while the Taliban that the Marines didn’t kill yesterday try to kill these Marines today. Not an easy job, but they’re doing it, and the sense today is that a corner has been turned.

Hot temperatures here today, though (the noonday sun sent temperatures close to 120) ... and some very tired Marines here tonight.

And we complain about it being hot and humid here at home, while we sit on our patios sipping lemonade or a glass of wine in the late afternoon shade.

What if we had to dress like this, including body armor, and carry a 100-pound backpack with us everywhere we went ...

Not to mention risking our lives every minute of every day protecting our country from terrorist attacks.

This news story is just one of hundreds that are written every day about our soldiers fighting the war on terrorism all over the world. I'm ashamed to say that sometimes I don't take the time to read them. But this one caught my attention for some reason and made me stop and think about those Marines and the extreme conditions under which they are fighting that battle.

So, the next time we complain about the heat, let's remember our soldiers and pray for their safety as they defend this great country of ours under conditions we can't even imagine. And let's remember their families, too -- wives and husbands who are working hard to make ends meet and raising their children as single parents, children who miss their daddies and mommies and don't understand why they're not at home, and babies who have never seen their daddy or heard his voice. What sacrifices they make! My heart goes out to all of them, and I pray that God will protect them as they fight to protect our country.


Beth at Aunties said...

A dear friend of mine, Mindi has her oldest son, Josh who is enduring this, at this very moment in time, for all of us.
I appreciate your post and will copy it for her. I can almost see her tears of gratitude, and also his wives and 2 year old baby daughter's... They feel forgotten...

Thank You, my friend.

Blondie's Journal said...

This is an exttemely powerful post, Janie. Sometimes we lose sight of what is happening in other parts of the world if we don't have a loved one involved or if we are sitting sipping our lemonade.

We have to give thanks for these men and women and say many prayers. But lest we become martyrs, let us say those prayers and then sit and sip our lemonade, because this is an example of the freedom we are figting for.


Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Great post Janie...thanks for this reminder!