12/26/07 — Our airmen: We could teach nation so much about local heroes

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Our airmen: We could teach nation so much about local heroes

Ever wonder why so many people seem so unsure of or are unaware of the good news that comes out of Iraq?

Ever wonder how anyone could disparage the troops — especially this time of year when so many are serving so far from their own families?

Perhaps it is becasue so few of them actually come face to face with those who serve or have served.

They don’t hear their stories of heroism, and they don’t have the option of shaking their hands when they return from a deployment. They do not rally around their families.

They do not know the real stories — the triumphs and the tragedies, the joys and the sacrifices that combine to make up the life of a military man or woman or their families.

And that is why we are all so lucky here — we do know them. They are our neighbors, our friends and our families.

We swell with pride when we hear of their accomplishments and worry with their families when they deploy.

We, like them, understand that serving a nation is a badge of honor — and that freedom does not come without a price.

It is why when we get a “card” from one of the fighter squadrons currently serving in Iraq, we understand how much it means and how much all those who serve sacrifice to protect us.

The pilots and their crews are not just nameless troops to us. They are our airmen.

Perhaps if more Americans had the chance we have, there would be more support, less fingerpointing and more listening to the real stories, the real progress and the true mission.

We could teach this country a whole lot about courage, determination and patriotism just by sharing some of our airmen’s stories.

Maybe that should be our “mission.”

It could be our way of giving back to those who give so much.

Published in Editorials on December 26, 2007 8:43 AM