For those deployed, support is everything
Polk County Itemizer-Observer
October 19, 2005
Terrorist attacks a call from destiny
This is an open letter to our community. A humble thank you for all that you did for me while I was serving in uniform -- you kept faith with a deployed son.
As most of you know I was recalled to active military duty four years ago. After two tours in Iraq, multiple trips made for the protection of our president and vice-president, and a series of assignments we cannot discuss, I am finally home, and home for good.
I am eager to rediscover the gentle harmonies of civilian life.
This fall I am teaching at Western Oregon University and working with Central School District on community outreach projects. Everyone has been gracious and helpful in extending a warm welcome.
Over the next several months I will be re-establishing personal and professional ties; it is time for seeing old friends, making new ones.
It is time for recognizing how the world and our sense of it has changed. For good or ill, these intervening years have galvanized my values.
Every deployment reminded me of certain truths: (1) democracy is an experiment dependent upon civic engagement and personal commitment; (2) life is fragile but precious; and (3) freedom must be earned through toil.
We must not lose our ideals our willingness to protect them; our community and our values are worth fighting for.
Whatever the future holds, I want to take this opportunity to ensure everyone knows how much their love and encouragement meant. Your support mattered to me, and it matters to those still in harm's way.