Men & Women of July 4th

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Thought I'd pass this on

By Ben Stein

Let’s be honest. The world is in a terrible mess. The North Koreans have nuclear bombs and are getting closer to having a missile that can deliver them to America. They are also endlessly whipping up tension in their area of Asia and the Pacific. There could be war and the North Koreans have a formidable military.

Then there’s Iran, which is getting close to having nukes and already has at least some

missiles. What will the world look like when Iran, which has stated its ambition to simply destroy Israel, has nuclear weapons and the means to drop them on Israel or Paris or New York?

In other words, there is a lot of danger looking down the road.

Yet, here in America, even in a recession, life is pretty lush for most of us: plenty to eat, in fact too much to eat. Air conditioning. Our families. Our dogs.

We swim back and forth in the warm pool of American comfort day by day.

And who and what protects us day by day? Who will have to face North Korea and Iran if the war comes? The men and women of the military. They sleep when they can in miserable Forward Operating Bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. They get shot at, mortared, rocketed, sniped at, ambushed by IED’s, come back home with limbs blown off or in body bags, shell shocked and

lonely. Their families wait in brave terror and dread anticipation.

And we swim in our pools and complain.

On the Fourth, let’s spare some prayer for the men and women who make America safe, who keep the wolf far from the door — as the American serviceman and woman always have; From Saratoga to Belleau Wood to Iwo Jima to Bastogne to Pusan to Khe Sanh to Iraq and Afghanistan, they have been there paying with their blood for our comfort and freedom.

If we have freedom to celebrate again this year, it has been paid for, again, in the currency of the lives and limbs of the American fighting man and woman and their families.

God bless them forever.

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary†for every issue of The American Spectator.

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Good day, Frosty,

well said! The number of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel we're able to put into Afghanistan compared with the US Armed Forces is small in comparison, and like the USA, we have other commitments throughout our region. However the anxieties suffered by the families of our servicemen and women are identical to those of American service families.

My eldest son is still with the infantry here in Oz, and has seen service in both East Timor and Sinai. He's currently stationed nearby within an hour's drive - but our army is small and infantry and other arms are rotating rapidly between an Australian posting and the next stint in Afghanistan. We share their worries. But neither my son nor his immediate family would have it any other way.



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My well wishes & prayers are with your son and your family for your sons safe return when he gets deployed and those of his buddies (I guess y'all call'em mates).

My nephew just re-upped with the Marines after being out for five yrs after Iraq and did a 4yr. stint with them. I thank ALL the men and women that protect our freedoms and liberty, esp. now where here in the U.S. many are wondering where and what direction our fearless leaders & pres."O"No is taking our nation. Many including myself have our doubts it's in the right direction - time will tell.

Take care, watch your back and keep on beeping B) - Frosty

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Guest goldstudmuffin

Mates, Although I can remember seeing this before, its message is sobering. How many of todays leaders who are always first to line their pockets would be willing to take these risks for freedom?

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men

who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors,

and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;

another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or

hardships of the RevolutionaryWar.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes,

and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

Eleven were merchants,

nine were farmers and large plantation owners;

men of means, well educated,

but they signed the Declaration of Independence

knowing full well that the penalty would be death if

they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia,a wealthy planter and

trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the

British Navy. He sold his home and properties to

pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British

that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.

He served in the Congress without pay, and his family

was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him,

and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,

Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward,Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that

the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson

home for his headquarters.He quietly urged General

George Washington to open fire.The home was destroyed,

and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.

The enemy jailed his wife,and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying.

Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill

were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests

and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his

children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and

silently thank these patriots.It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

It's time we get the word out that patriotism

is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer,

picnics, and baseball games.

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