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Men and women in uniform, past and present, deserve our respect

May 28, 2012

It is sobering to think that children who are in middle school have never known an America that wasn’t at war.

While not of the scale of world wars, we have still faced the daily reminder that we have men and women in harm’s way, as reports of explosions, firefights and death reach our ears.

As the years have marched on, it is perhaps too easy to slip into the mentality that this is the way it has always been and always will be.

We pray that it is not. We long for an America at peace, which is, or should be, our normal condition.

But, whether it’s a time of war or of peace, we need to refrain from taking for granted our men and women in uniform.

This is evident now as war draws on. While not dispatched in the same numbers as in “major” wars, they are in no less danger.

War is different now, but they are just as brave, as dedicated and as triumphant as warriors of past eras. And their stories are just as compelling.

There are many media venues to hear of their exploits today, and we would encourage all Americans to go a little out of their way this holiday to hear of their remarkable journeys and courage.

These professionals are there for us, and we owe them our recognition for the job they do — fighting in foreign lands to keep our would-be attackers at bay.

We have been told that one day soon there will be peace. The war in Iraq has ended, and soon our soldiers are to be called home from Afghanistan. But we will retain a presence overseas, and our soldiers will continue to hold the line that keeps us safe.

As we go to sleep at night, we have our share of worries. But thanks to our men and women in the military, the fear of attack that was so prominent in our psyche a decade ago has been largely abated. For that, and for all their service, we owe them a debt that can never be repaid.

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