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An email sent to Leon's sister ~ Regina 


I'm not sure who wrote this, but I'm glad I was
able to share.  God
Bless, and thank you.

Fred from KCVO Spirit-FM Camdenton, MO




The average age of the Infantryman is 19 years.

He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who,
under normal circumstances
is considered by society as half man, half boy.
Not yet dry behind the
ears, but old enough to die for his country.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was
probably an average student,
pursued some form of sport activities, drives a
ten year old jalopy, and
has a steady girlfriend that either broke up
with him when he left, or
swears to be waiting when he returns from half a
world away.

He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or
jazz or swing and 155mm
Howitzers.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he
was at home because he is
working or fighting from before dawn to well
after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is
a pain for him, but he
can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and
reassemble it in less time in
the dark.

He can recite to you the nomenclature of a
machine gun or grenade
launcher and use either one effectively if he
must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply
first aid like a
professional.

He can march until he is told to stop or stop
until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without
hesitation, but he is not without
spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of
fatigues: he washes one and
wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and
his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but
never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes,
and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with
you; if you are hungry,
his food.

He'll even split his ammunition with you in the
midst of battle when you
run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and
weapons like they were
his hands. He can save your life - or take it,
because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian,
draw half the pay and
still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen
more suffering and death
then he should have in his short lifetime.

He has wept in public and in private, for
friends who have fallen in
combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem
vibrate through his body
standing at rigid attention, while tempering the
burning desire to
'square-away' those around him who haven't
bothered to stand, remove
their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd
twist, day in and day out,
far from home, he defends their right to be
disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and
Great-grandfather, he is paying
the price for our freedom.

Beardless or not, he is not a boy.
He is the American Fighting Man that has kept
this country free for over
200 years.
He has asked nothing in return, except our
friendship and understanding.

Remember them, always, for they have earned our
respect and admiration
with their blood.

 

 



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"The solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."