Monday, December 18, 2006

Operation Desert Swarm

Many Thanks, one and all, for the wonderful surprise in my inbox this evening. A Special thanks goes out to Dirk Star, who found my blog by some fortuitous "click", and for his kind words on his blog, and the love from the Good Old US of A provided by his blog-followers. (His site is exactly 200 times more popular than mine.)

And I'm just talking about the emails! Dirk made me feel ten-feet tall, (I'm un-worthy!), by devoting an entire post to me and my blog, and ORDERING his troops to participate in what he's calling "Operation Desert Swarm." To load my site with traffic, and well-wishes, and hearty "Merry Christmases" for all us folks over here. (Plus a number of "Happy Birthdays!" for me).

So family and friends of this blogsite, please go there and patronize him, and see what he wrote. Dirk's blogsite is http://jestersrap.blogspot.com/

A word on America. I believe it good to belong to something bigger than yourself. Not some rank ideology, but a purpose and love and respect for that which is greater than your ego. The defining difference is does it elevate the ideological over the interpersonal? And with America, it plainly does not. Our country celebrates and revels in the individual. Individuals like Dirk Star. Like Me. Like Marcus Hall. Like "Skinny Little Blonde", "Skeet", and "Kentucky Brat."

I speak only for me, but I am not brave. I am fulfilled. Infused with meaning and purpose. If you took away my love of Country, there'd be nothing left. (maybe a bar-tab, and an ORA coin). It is my life-long love affair with America that leads me where I go, an unseen hand (I think I know whose) that guides.

Love of country is not a nebulous abstraction, either. Better men and women than I have gone before me, laid down their lives - so that I might live out my wind-blown, aimless "walkabout". And the shocker is they never knew me. They died for promise. A Promise. And I'm not OK with being indifferent to that.

America was founded with the best principles and ideals to hand. 220 years later, they still are. I will not shrink from them. I will not neglect the blood-debt I inherited on my birth. There's a reason they burn our flag. And its because its worth burning. Its more than a flag. To be born American is to have won the lottery on life. Pity that too many are unacquainted with the world outside our borders, and its history.

No sweaty, stinky, bearded zealot will ever come near the people and the country that I love. Not if I have anything to say about it, "By God", as we say in the South. Our fates are bound together, and that isn't said NEARLY enough in our rapidly atomizing, ego-centric West.

Fear doesn't go away, its never very far - but you've you've climbed all the little hills when you realize its irrelevant. A recent acquaintance of mine, said his old First Sergeant had taped this missive up in the lid of his own foot locker, to be seen every morning when he opened it. "Be Brave. You have no choice."

We err. We make mistakes and misteps, but the goal is eternal, the ideals unflagged, the Constitution un-sullied, and the soldiery unflinching. It fills you up till your cup runneth over - when bright, star-brilliant, outrageously individual folks (I call them Americans) send you anonymous love and gratitude from home. It recalls the promise.

And from Baghdad, we reciprocate fully, in spades. May the sun shine on all of you, and as the old Irish toast goes, "May those that love us love us, and may those that don't - may God turn their ankle - so that we may know them by their limping."

I'd like to leave you with the words of Pat Conroy, SC's most famous (adopted) son. After many years as a War-protestor, and exile and excommunication from his alma mater, the Citadel, he had an epiphany in the home of one of his old classmates, many years later. They had played on the basketball team together, and this friend shipped off to Vietnam and led a platoon in combat, as was the purpose of his training. Conroy lay awake at night, wondering of the nights of horror his friend had been through, as Conroy himself led war-protests in Beaufort. He pondered on the time and space between them, and how he'd wound up in this kind man's house a welcome guest after all that. In his speech to the graduating Citadel cadets of the class of 2000 (?), entitled, "Why I wear the Ring", he said he'd learned: "That America is worth dying for even when its wrong."

All the Best,

-MG

25 comments:

skeet said...

And all of the above, my new friend, is why many of us will still be coming to visit you long after the immediacy of Dirk's post has waned. Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) to you and all who serve with you. You're doing what many of us cannot, and it is not unnoticed or unappreciated. Keep yourself safe. I'm looking forward, with so many others, to a time when you are no longer needed in that particular hot spot.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Dirk is pretty well known for his kindness and pointing out worthy blogs.

A friend of mine sent me this. I don't know if you have seen it or not but it should be good for a laugh: http://www.skippyslist.com/skippylist.html

Kat said...

So glad we were able to brighten your day.

God bless you, sir - you are always in our prayers and thoughts.

We appreciate you and are proud of you.

Peanut said...

That's how I found my way over here too.. from Dirk's...

B-u-t...

I'm a Brit, who just happens to live in the USA.. and so I'm going to be obstroperous, and not say Merry Christmas.. but HAPPY Christmas.

See there.. **lol **

Okay.. I'm outta here.. saving you to favourites, so I'll be back..

DNR said...

Happy belated birthday!!

Thank you for everything you and your comrades are doing. It is my honor to meet you and as has been said. I will be stopping by often. Dirk has this knack for finding the best blogs. I hope I can make the welcome home PGR ride for you.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Dirk_Star said...

Thank you and Merry Christmas, sir.

You have honored me with your post and I am deeply touched.

You speak the truth when you say this is a country worth dying for, even when it is wrong.

Thank you for a wonderful Christmas message.

Now, go and visit new friends...

Mone said...

At first belated Happy Birthday to you :)

Here are my christmas wishes for you and your friends. May you stay safe for the holidays and afterwards and hopefully there are peacefull times soon. I've seen that giant christmas tree and the reindeer with the sled. I'm glad for you that there is at least a little christmas decoration around.
Take care.
Sorry for my bad english...

Kentucky Brat said...

oh we will be back..

hope that doesn't sound threatening! :)

and we will probably bring others, if that is ok with you.

It is late here... your post has much for me to think on.

I'll re-read tomorrow.

*I'm glad to do something that at least brought a smile*

The Wizened Wizard said...

And many thanks to you for making me pause and think. The Pat Conroy quote - though perhaps true and certainly a belief to be highly respected - is a reminder of the price America pays when we are wrong.

May you stay safe, and may many Iraqis come to know you. You do America proud, and I thank you for your service.

Best wishes for a happy holiday!

Zen Wizard said...

We all appreciate your service and sacrifice.

KentuckyCritter said...

love America even when it's wrong...thanks, I needed that...

And keep yourself safe...

PS...I'm KyBrat's friend and fellow blog partner...

Craig D said...

That dirk_star is a regular Johnny Appleseed in this here blogosphere...

eddie said...

Hey boss i came by way of dirk and love your site, i sit here at home and feel safe at nite because of people like you, i'm 45 and never served in a war but my father did, people like me owe you much in life because you put your behind on the line every day so people like me can be safe, you have the best respect i can give you and the thanks of the world, my wife kybrat, father served to and i feel that, there is not enough people like me can do to show thanks, if you or your friends ever need your car fixed come see me thats what i do, will do it for free, be safe in all you do there and know i pray every day for your safe return,from me thank you, and may god watch over you and all there with you..

Pepper said...

I found you through Dirk. He is a very kind, thoughtful person. He did the same for me.

I hate to sound repetitious. Thank you for your service. I will be thinking and praying for you and the rest of the soldiers that are serving.

I will be watching your blog.

Keep safe.

Smalltown RN said...

WEll I am glad the wishes are still coming your way! Nice post...well put and poignant...God speed.....keep well....Merry Christmas..to you and those you love!!!

Cheers!

HeatherinBeautifulBritishColumbia said...

OMG, thank you for that heartfelt post - we (even us Canadians) need to hear you speak out about the reason you are in Iraq. I'm linking you and hope you might do the same. You just became one of my "daily" reads. Thanks for all you do to help keep the world safe! Mary Ann from "A Place I Call Home" sent me to your site.

HeatherinBeautifulBritishColumbia said...

PS...when you have time, perhaps you'd enjoy reading my post about the Congressional Medal of Honor Convention in Boston: http://beautifulbritishcolumbia.blogspot.com/2006/10/congressional-medal-of-honor.html

MarmiteToasty said...

Hey, fell through the door via Dirks pad....... :)

I like Peanut am a Brit, but living in England.... but would LOVE to live in the states...

Anyways been reading your blob posts and I most certainly will be back....

Wanna thank you for all your do in your service to everyone.... your beliefs your love of your country are gobsmackingly wonderful....

ps...... do you wear cammo boxers? lol

HAPPY CHRISTMAS ..... my you find a little bit of peace in your mad world....

x

Crashdummie said...

We should all stop every now and then just to count our blessings. Unfourtunatly, now many of us realize what we have.. until it’s gone.

Btw, Happy B’lated Birthday to you and Merry Christmas to everyone.

Cheers!

PS. Your first comment from Sweden - wicked

Pixie said...

Just popping by Via Dirks blog.

Merry Christmas and keep up the good work ;)

eddie said...

oh by the way i would love to work on one of those tanks to see how fast i can make it go, just a few extras to add to one, few raceing stripes, hedders, big motor, have a great day boss

The Curmudgeon said...

Here via smalltown rn (Mary Anne).

Thanks for what you -- and all the rest of the men and women Armed Forces -- are doing over there.

Be careful. Be safe.

KentuckyCritter said...

Morning! Thinking of you and all our "boys"...wishing you a Merry Christmas or the best you can have without your families...

Kentucky Brat said...

just stopped back in to say Hi.

to wish you well.

to keep up the good work, YOU know how important it is.

I will keep all of you in my thoughts, with importance on your safty. (this is something all to close for me)

Merry Christmas, *again*

russkal said...

Hello there, fellow awardee!

I guess Operation Desert Swarm was a huge success, after all huh?

Thank you for that wonderful post. Now be safe and enjoy your award!

Belated Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!