Saturday, December 25, 2004

Holidays Abroad

Well, folks- it looks like I'm spending the holidays away from home. I've spent 5 of the last 7 years in some strange land during the holidays, and (believe it or not) I'm totally fine. You all may think that such craziness would be unbearable, but I think you'd be surprised. This post is not a play for sympathy- it is, in fact, an attempt to help you all understand something about this sort of thing.

Being at war during the holidays is tough, but it's probably not as tough as you think- and that has everything to do with the good people who constitute the majority of our great nation. The way you provide us with warm wishes and heartfelt support- it really makes us feel closer to home. If you want an idea of what I'm talking about, just look in yesterday's comments (thanks all). And the emails- you wouldn't believe how many emails. I shared them with everyone here at the office, and we all appreciate it greatly- thanks so much for that.

I've been watching Fox for the past few hours (slow day at the office), and it seems like everyone and anyone is thanking the troops for "leaving their families and fighting for freedom during this holiday season." Well, that's really swell- and I'd just like to say "you're welcome!" and "thanks for the support!"

And now I'd like to thank a few people (if I may):

-Thanks to all those WWE wrestler folks who came out here a few weeks back.

-Thanks to the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for coming to visit me during the holidays for 3 consecutive years ('98-'01) while I was in Korea. Apologies to the girl who "hurled" in the back of my Black Hawk in '99 (I should have gone a little easier on that turn). Many of you may not know this, but the NFL sends football stars and cheerleaders overseas every year to support the troops during the holidays. John Elway was in Iraq recently. The Redskins Cheerleaders were right here in Kuwait a couple weeks ago. So really, I'd like to thank the NFL for everything they do for us.

-Thanks to the following entertainers who came out to entertain us over the years: Chely Wright, Blues Traveler, Taylor Dayne (remember her?), Charlie Daniels (he played an impromptu concert in my office!), Rob Schneider, Wayne Newton, Kid Rock (didn't really see him, but my old boss took pictures for me at the Baghdad concert), Robin Williams, Leeanne Tweedon, David Letterman, Paul Schaefer, Quiet Riot, Al Franken (didn't meet him either, but my current boss had him sign a picture of Bill O'Reilly for me), Ben Affleck, Ted Nugent, Alyssa Milano, Arnold Schwartze...the Governor of California, and all the other American stars who are carrying on the proud tradition of Bob Hope, Ann Margaret, and many other legends who have given so much to our deployed soldiers. Please feel free to credit any others in my comments. I really could go on forever.

-Thanks to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for visiting me in Mosul last year, and for going back to Mosul (and many other places in Iraq) yesterday.

-Thanks to President Bush for coming to visit the troops in Baghdad last Thanksgiving.

-Especially thanks to all of you, the good people of America, for supporting us the way you do- day in and day out- not just during the holidays. It makes more of a difference than many of you might realize.

Yes, it certainly hurts to be away from loved ones during the holidays, but as you can see, there are plenty of things going on here that help to keep our spirits up.

And speaking of friends and loved ones:

-I'd like to thank all the great soldiers (especially those who are wounded or no longer with us) who I had the honor of serving with during these crazy times so far away from home. We may not have our families out here, but we have each other- and that makes a huge difference.

-I'd like to thank my friends and family for putting up with my never-ending deployments and always letting me know that I am sorely missed.

-And of course most of all- I'd like to thank the most beautiful and amazing woman in all the world- the future "Mrs. 2Slick"- for putting up with way more than one person should have to put up with these past two years. Thanks for believing I'm worth it. I Love you, Sweetie!

Merry Christmas and Happy (belated) Hannukah!!!

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