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I'm feeling my age. Quite a few of the soldiers in my care weren't even born when I first put on the uniform of the US Army in 1984. I look at their faces and they are children to me.
I will teach them things their loved ones do not want to know about. To fight, to survive, to win. To prepare them for the tough days ahead. But I do it because I love them as if they were my own children.
But it's okay. It's a passing of generations. That's the way it has always been. Old soldiers like me pass on the legacy of service to the young ones. Recently I ran into an NCO who once was a private under me. It was with pride that I looked at the stripes he wore.
I believe it will count for something in the end as long as the politicians don't sell us out for political points. We are slowly making gains over there but if the will to win in the long term doesn't exist here then our blood and sacrifices will be for nothing. Not for nothing to us who are in it though.
I didn't start this. I don't dwell on the issues that others froth at the mouth over. I don't agree with some decisions made at a certain level. But I am a soldier and an NCO and I have a job to do. Accomplish the mission given me and take care of my soldiers. Regardless of whoever is the politician du jour, I will accomplish that mission to the best of my ability.
I thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. The best to all and may the Good Lord watch over you and your loved ones.
As Toby Keith sings: "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was."