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As I write today’s bonus posting I was thinking about all the suffering in California. The wildfires are ripping through the countryside, people are having to evacuate their homes, while first-responders are doing their best to contain the fire and save those souls who cannot help themselves. All, as I sit in my comfortable home office and clack away at this keyboard.

As I write today’s bonus posting I was thinking about the shooting in Thousand Oaks. I wondered about what went through the Marine’s head as he squeezed off round after round into the bodies of the patrons of that establishment who were just there to enjoy some music, finger food, and their friends. All, as I sit in my comfortable home office and clack away at this keyboard.

As I write today’s bonus posting I try to understand the victims of these tragedies and how their lives have been overturned by events they had no control over. I think about the Mothers, Fathers, sons, and daughters. I think about the Aunts and Uncles. I think about the pet owner who has lost their best friend to the tragedy of a fire. All, as I sit in my comfortable home office and clack away at this keyboard.

As I write today’s bonus posting I was thinking about all the men and women of our Armed Forces and the sacrifices they make every day. I think about the first responders who are here to keep us safe and protect our loved ones in times of natural disaster. I think about the sacrifices that are made, the losses of life and limb, and what it means to be a volunteer. All, as I sit in my comfortable home office and clack away at this keyboard.

As I write today’s bonus posting I was thinking about all the wars this nation has fought. I thought about all the young men and women who volunteered to help keep this country safe. I thought about the tears that streak down a soldier’s face when he bids his loved ones goodbye. I thought about the tears held back by the fathers who watched their baby boy or girl left, to stay strong for his wife and the rest of their family. All, as I sit in my comfortable home office and clack away at this keyboard.

As I write today’s bonus posting I was thinking about all the wives and mothers waiting by the phone to hear from their loved one in harm’s way. I thought about the constant worry that goes through their minds as they scour the Internet, the television, and the radio for any news. I thought about the day a man in uniform arrives at home to deliver the worst news ever. I thought about the caskets arriving at Dover. I thought about the funerals and parades. All, as I sit in my comfortable home office and clack away at this keyboard.

As I write today’s bonus posting I was thinking about the time I was told by my unit first sergeant that the Red Cross called. I thought about how angry my Mother was that I hadn’t called. I was thinking about my wife calling me in Turkey after having a car accident and not knowing what to do. I was thinking about how cold it was one rainy night in Austria on a field exercise. I was thinking about how cold I was pulling guard duty at Spandau on a Christmas Eve, wondering what the hell I volunteered for. I was thinking about waking up to the smell of hot bread in Berlin. I was thinking about a New Year’s Eve party at the Brandenburg Gate. All, as I sit in my comfortable home office and clack away at this keyboard.

As I write today’s bonus posting I was thinking about the time I got a letter from a Judge in my hometown and how good it felt to have someone say thanks for my service. I was thinking about getting a care package from an elementary class in South Dakota whom I’d never met. I was thinking about the looks on my soldier’s faces when they got mail from home. I was thinking about how great the food tasted when I hadn’t eaten in four days. I was thinking about how good a hot shower felt. I was thinking about how warm and soft my wife was when I returned home. All, as I sit in my comfortable home office and clack away at my keyboard.

I thank everyone that has served our country. I will never forget you. You are what America is all about.

Until next time…

Dave

Sergeant First Class

United States Army, Retired

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