Unselfishly, you left your fathers and your mothers,
You left behind your sisters and your brothers.
Leaving your beloved children and wives,
You put on hold, your dreams—your lives.
On foreign soil, you found yourself planted
To fight for those whose freedom you granted.
Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost
But you carried onward, no matter the cost.
Many horrors you had endured and seen.
Many faces had haunted your dreams.
You cheered as your enemies littered the ground;
You cried as your brothers fell all around.
When it was over, you all came back home,
Some were left with memories to face all alone;
Some found themselves in the company of friends
As their crosses cast shadows across the land.
Those who survived were forever scarred
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who did not now sleep eternally
‘Neath the ground they had given their lives to keep free.
With a hand upon my heart,
I feel The pride and respect; my reverence is revealed
In the tears that now stream down my upturned face
As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace.
Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave
Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid.
Every day, I give my utmost admiration
To those who had fought to defend our nation.
Freedom isn't free.
We gave each of our fallen comrades a fitting memorial and mourned their loss. Each time, I knew these heroes left wives, husbands, children and other loved ones behind. They were all volunteers and each had their reasons for joining the Army and defending their country. They all had great plans for the future, but none of them had planned on dying in combat. These soldiers will never see their children graduate from high school, will never attend their weddings, will never coach their little league baseball teams.
We're here today to pay tribute to two great soldiers; to two great Americans. I am 100 percent convinced we will win this war because we have soldiers like Sgt. Shields and Spc. Velez, and the enemy does not. The enemy has no response for sergeants that risk everything to rescue their injured comrades only to immediately return to the fight. The enemy has no answer to soldiers standing over their injured buddies, even when it means their own lives, so that others will live. Because of that, we will win.
A Military Professional or Veteran - whether from Active Duty,
National Guard or Reserve - is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The UNITED STATES of AMERICA", for an amount of up to and including his or her life.
" That is HONOR”.
There are far too many people in this country
who no longer understand it.
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