Sunday, February 28, 2010

To Those Who Put Their Lives at Risk for Liberty

Thank You

Tucson, AZ.  Here is a link to a story in the Online Magazine of Michael Yon, an American reporter who is with the American Forces in Afghanistan currently.  He was a Special Forces member in his own days of service.

He reported on the Airlift of a Canadian soldier wounded seriously by an IED on Valentine's Day here.

The parents of this young soldier wrote to Mr. Yon, and he published their letter yesterday here.

The letter said:
Dear Michael Yon,
Today we were sent your story of February 14, 2010. The “unknown” Canadian is our son Danny.  He is a 23-year-old soldier from Vancouver, Canada.
Your photographs were extraordinary and have impacted so many people here in Canada. There has been an outpouring of affection for the Americans who helped Danny in his moment of need.  For that, we thank you for recording these acts of kindness into history.
Danny's injuries were the result of an explosion on February 12, 2010. Four Canadian soldiers were injured and tragically one Canadian soldier was killed.  Within 20 minutes of the explosion, Danny was airlifted by helicopter to Kandahar.  Upon arrival he received emergency surgery that saved his life and prepared him for the flight to Bagram that you were on. After landing in Bagram, Danny was again airlifted by a US transport aircraft to the US Army run Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.  There he underwent additional surgery that closed up his wounds.  Once stabilized, the Canadian government dispatched a Challenger jet to bring him home. This afternoon in Vancouver, the shrapnel that did all the damage to him was finally removed.  Danny is now recovering in hospital.
This was Danny's second tour of duty in Afghanistan and his platoon on this tour has had heavy causalities and injuries.  Physically, Danny will overcome his injuries. He also has the support of his family, his friends and his community to deal with the emotional side of this war.  Our hearts go out to those families who have had the loss of a soldier or who have had to deal with greater injuries.
Danny and his whole family are very grateful, and are actually overwhelmed, by the support he received while in US care. The Canadian military have also been wonderful.  It is our intention to personally thank everyone who worked so hard to save Danny's life. We have already made contact with Major Deborah "Lucy" Lehker to thank her.
Jim & Holly
Whatever we might think of the correctness of a military strategy or mission that is ongoing, our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers who serve in the military have taken up the responsibility to serve their country and its leaders who have sent them to do their job.

"Theirs is not to reason why. Theirs is but to do and die."  They have all put their money where their mouth is.

On Friday of last week, I had coffee after church services with my friend Master Sergeant Fernando Cuevas, who had just conducted the Communion Service at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, here in Tucson.  As he was on his way to work, he was dressed in his fatigues that had his stripes on the sleeve, his name tag above his left breast, and United States Air Force over his heart.  Because of the significance of the work that his unit does here in America, he has never been to Afghanistan, or Iraq, but he serves with distinction here.

The men and women of the US Armed Forces, and those of the Canadian Armed Forces are heroes, and we, my fellow Canadians owe them respect for their service.  We Canadians are dependent on the work of the military personnel of both nations for the security that we enjoy in our country.

I appreciate how Canadians line Highway 401when a deceased military service person's body is repatriated to Canada.  It is a great sign of respect for one who has died for our country.

How about if we take it upon ourselves to show veterans and those still in active service that cross our paths that we appreciate their efforts on our behalf?  I am sure that a simple thank you will suffice, but any gesture that your heart leads you to will be appreciated by these heroes.

To Master Sergeant Fernando Cuevas of the Arizona National Guard, to Major Christopher Hartline of the United States Army, and to my friend Joshua's son Keith, who is in the United States Air Force, as a Canadian I say "Thank You", for the work that you do to make the world a safer place.  May God Bless You and Keep You and all your brothers and sisters in service in both of our great nations.

1 comment:

My Chocolate Heart said...

Thank you, Michael. May the day come very soon when all our brave heroes will be home safe and sound. Lord, come with Your peace and rule in our hearts.