Forgive the sentimental sappiness, but it happens to all of us (or at least most of us…). But driving to get the missus and I some breakfast this morning, I heard a commercial, or more like a radio station ID ad, from one of our troops stationed overseas, wishing their family and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This wasn’t the first one that I heard, but it did get me thinking about our troops, our veterans (not only of Iraq and Afghanistan, but more so them because of the lies that have them overseas), and their families. And how, even after all this time – all of the lies that ended up splintering families, straining relationships and challenging the strength and resolve of those who have put their lives and families on the line and on hold – the world is a bigger mess than it was a few short years ago.

Which, to me, is wholly unfair that our troops and families have to spend yet another Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year apart. They deserve better. They deserve more. They deserve to spend their holiday season with their loved ones.

There are more than a few people in this community whose lives are affected by the invasion and occupation of Iraq. People who may be stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, people who may have returned themselves – no doubt in many instances as a completely changed person, and people whose family members are either still stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, or are set to be deployed (or redeployed). And of course, those whose friends or families have been lost due to this immoral invasion and occupation.

Some of those who come to mind are slothlax, who posts from Iraq, mjd in florida, whose son and his friends have gone and returned from the Middle East, John and Peter Laesch who have posted here frequently and are two men who I admire greatly, militarytracy, testvet6778, Paul Reickhoff and the others over at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and so many others who I have exchanged comments and/or emails with over the past couple of years. While there are many others whose names I have not mentioned here, it is not because you are not as important – not by a long shot.

But to all of the troops who are serving, have served, will serve – as well as your families, friends and loved ones – I want to wish you a very happy holiday season, and a happy healthy New Year.

May the next year bring you, as well as the rest of us, better news, better times, and most of all, a safe return. And until you return, I certainly want to thank you for putting yourself in a most difficult position, and regardless of what you may hear – we support the troops, even if we do not support the mission. That is the job of true patriotic Americans, which is what I am proud to call myself, even if I am ashamed of what our so-called “leaders” are doing around the world and to our fellow Americans in the name of “spreading freedom™”.

We here are thinking of you –we wish nothing but a speedy and safe return to your families and friends.

Stay safe.

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