We are now in the home stretch of a very pivotal election season. In just about a week, Americans will go to the polls and issue a referendum on Barack Obama and his leftist policies. But what we forget as we get caught up in the “whole thing” is that the freedom we are exercising on Election Day comes with a price — a price paid for in blood. The men and women who serve in America’s armed forces often go unnoticed except for perhaps a sound bite on the news or as a politician’s talking point. But they are very real, and so are their sacrifices.
Last week, I had the honor of attending a series of events sponsored by the USO which honored our military men and women, especially those who have been wounded in combat. I saw servicemen with burns, missing arms, missing legs, and so much more. I also saw an incredible spirit… an undying love for our great country. It is shameful that all too often, America does not love them back.
In addition to a dinner I attended with soldiers who were about to return to Iraq, I also participated in the Houston Texans’ “Salute to the Military.” The events culminated with a halftime tribute during the football game in which the Texans played the Kansas City Chiefs, but there were activities going on the entire week leading up to the game. Players and coaches gave their time and money to help the cause, as some of the wounded warriors attended a practice session, with one soldier even kicking a field goal.
During halftime, two military families where treated to a most unexpected surprise. They were told they would participate in some of the tribute ceremonies, but what they didn’t know was that a satellite feed had been set up so that they could see and talk to their loved ones in Iraq. It was such a moving experience. Just talk a look at the video below to get a feel for what the event was all about.
USO Houston Director Susan Barlow said, “The Houston Texans interaction with the troops and their families has had such a profound impact on boosting the morale and lifting the spirits of our military. It is hard to capture in words. The troops have established true and lasting friendships with a host of players, the Lady Texans, and the Texans staff. The Week of the Warrior has quickly become the most sought after event that our Wounded Warriors are requesting.
USO Advisory Board President Barbara Hayley echoed similar sentiments regarding the Texans organization, saying, “The Houston Texans are not just any NFL Team; they opened their doors and opened their hearts to our brave men and women in uniform this past week. The generosity shown and the respect they have for those who serve sets them apart from the rest. I am honored to have been part of such an extraordinary week.”
The USO is a truly amazing organization, and the commitment people like Susan and Barbara have to the troops is incredible. I thank them for allowing me to help in a small way, and I look forward to doing more with the organization. As one soldier wrote to Susan, “Life is a true blessing but the USO is our miracle.”
We should all take time during this busy election week to remember the sacrifices our men and women in uniform are making every single day. Our country is free because of them. We owe them so much, but a simple “thank you” goes a long way.
Please circulate to your friends and family, and use the comments below to say “thank you” to America’s wounded warriors.