Friday, July 4, 2008

A First on the Fourth

Thanks to the time zone differential, it has been July 4th in Baghdad for hours and is approaching mid-afternoon. One thousand two hundred and fifteen of our troops in country gathered earlier in one of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces to “re-up.” That is, in the parlance of the guys who do the dirty work in foreign lands, another way to say they held the largest single re-enlistment ceremony in the history of the United States Military.

Along with repeating the oath, they listened to remarks made by Command Sergeant Major Hill (the highest ranking enlisted man in the theater) and the overall commander General Patraeus. In acknowledgement of their devotion to the mission, Patraeus said it was, “impossible to calculate the value of what you are giving to our country . . . For no bonus, no matter the size, can adequately compensate you for the contribution each of you makes as a custodian of our nation’s defenses.”

In a similar ceremony last year, General Patraeus, accompanied by Navy vet, John McCain, oversaw the re-enlistment of 588 who recognized their place in an uncompleted duty.

While we are busy inventorying hot dogs, buns, and potato salad for the day’s festivities here at home let’s take a moment for a prayer for these young men and women who fully recognize the importance of this day. God bless America.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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