That 1%

Yon-Iraq-Photo1000

11 November 2011

It has been an honor these seven years to cover American and British troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines and elsewhere.  It is said that only about 1% of Americans serve in the armed forces.  Many of our troops are not even American citizens.  I see them in combat regularly.  Many veterans are in hospitals or have fresh scars and are recovering from recent wounds.  A message just arrived from the military in Kabul that we just lost another service member in Southern Afghanistan.

Many of our finest will be in combat as you read these words.  They will cope with their losses and continue to fight.  Mostly they are very young.  It is common to meet a young combat trooper who has fought for several years overseas.  He doesn’t make much money.  A heartfelt “thank you” goes a long way.

They have lost friends.  Many of our young veterans have been wounded more than once, and yet they are out there right now.  Some have more Purple Hearts than stripes.  Their strength and dedication is inspirational.  Their courage seems bottomless.

Tonight, many will sleep on the ground, their ears ringing from the nearby bullets and blasts that they have experienced so many times.  They have killed the enemy, and watched their buddies die in their arms.  They have seen and smelled and heard things that most of us rather would not.  They will carry these things forever as Veterans.  Tonight they will fight. We’ve already lost at least one today, yet most Americans seem to have forgotten that many of our men and women are still out there.

This is the longest war in the history of the United States.  It’s far from over.  I have not forgotten.  I never will forget.

Thank you, Veterans.

Comments   

 
+8 # Martin Terry 2011-11-11 08:25
Words will never be able to express the heartfelt gratitude I have for all of you who serve so selflessly and have served in prior wars. You have my utmost respect. God Bless you for all that you do to protect us back home.
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+1 # Debra McDowell 2011-11-11 09:05
No, Michael, we haven't forgotten! Especially those of us who have family in the military, both past and present. These 'beyond priceless' men and women who are our only real, boots on the ground, "keepers of the flame of freedom" there are, do it for the greater good, the things that are larger than themselves and for future generations to come...May God bless and keep them, and when they don't "come home safe", then we give them Honor, Gratitude, and our eternal Respect for their absolute and complete committment to our country.
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+2 # larryh 2011-11-11 08:51
Michael - from one old Vet to another - Many Thanks
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+3 # Robbie C 2011-11-11 09:11
Heinlein wrote: “The noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war’s desolation.” We all forever owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women who have done so.
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+4 # Dianne 2011-11-11 09:12
My grandson is one of those soldiers that sleeps on the ground days on end, with no latrines or portable showers for their use. But low and behold the US engineers built the Afghans, our soldiers are training, with all those niceties.Where my grandson is, the fighting has been intense. It has been all the months he's been there. One wouldn't know it without Mr Yon's reporting. Thank you sir. I am grandmother who loves and is very proud of her grandson. The young man is a medic and a very good one.
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+4 # Leyla Najma 2011-11-11 09:16
If everyone on the planet read Micheal's blog they would see the truth for what it is and realize that men's lives are worth more then petty differences. As an American I can never repay those who have fought for my freedom but as an American I can make sure their memories and efforts are forever living on in my heart.
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+3 # Fabio Morniroli 2011-11-11 09:30
Hi Michael,
I am Italian and I read all your dispatches with great interest.

You are doing an incredible job and I do hope that your efforts in order to solve the problem of Medevac will be successful.

By the way I would like to know if you have ever had the opportunity to stay with Italian soldiers in Afghanistan.

God bless America and its soldiers.


Fabio
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+2 # Tyler 2011-11-11 09:33
My family is very, very grateful. Flying the flag today! God bless all our vets, and God bless and keep you, Michael Yon.
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+2 # Brendan Whalen 2011-11-11 10:48
Enjoy your day Michael. Keep well and stay safe.
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+3 # David Aune 2011-11-11 10:53
I am a firm believer that in this war (unlike any other) if we don't take the fight to them, they will bring it to us! I do truly thank you for your service! I don't take it for granted ever. I come from a family with a strong military background. I say many many prayers for your safety and those around you. I ask the LORD to blind the eyes of the enemy.
Thank You,
Pastor David Aune
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+4 # Neil 2011-11-11 11:12
The dirty, dangerous work these young men are doing should be reserved for us able bodied over 45. We're doing war all wrong with the idealistic, best and brightest suffering the worst life has to offer. I'm an old vet and would gladly take the place of one of these young heros so they may live a unscared life. God bless and protect them all, I pray for healing and happiness for them when they return from the hell we subject them to.
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+1 # Tim 2011-11-11 11:31
Amen, Michael. Thank you for YOUR service, and for the service of the countless men and women who signed a blank check for all of us.
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+2 # AndreM 2011-11-11 11:42
Michael;
Thanks again for all you do. As an eternal brother veteran, I wish all veterans a happy veterans day. To our troops in the fight in Afghanistan, keep your heads down, thank you for carrying the torch and may God protect you.
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+5 # Oma Brown 2011-11-11 11:51
I had a school project a while back and found a wonderful website: http://iwvpa.net The International War Veterans' Poety Archives. From it I pulled a quote from George Orwell "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." My response was, "One of the guardians, my son, one of the rough men is home again. The sun rises again in our world. We breathe more deeply, we are no longer prisoners of time; held in the chokehold of fear. No longer in the backwash and eddies of time. The clock begins to tick - again. The second hand sweeps the face - again. Marching forward relentlessly... until the next TIME. It's astounding, Time is fleeting, Madness takes its toll" (Time Warp lyrics included).

As parents and grandparents it is extremely difficult to have our loved ones in harm's way. We all know this. At the same time the pride factor is unbelievable. Therefore, to those of you who have family members serving, thank you for your contribution. Make it a point to say thank you to them from another Mom! Blessings to all who serve and their families who wait.
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+1 # Max Perry 2011-11-11 12:01
Michael we thank you for your dedication and perserverence and picturing our military in harms way. The WWII military has been called the "great generation" but todays Soldier/Marine/ Airforce is equal to if not superior and is our Great Generation. They are all vounteer! They are in the fight because they have decided it is esential and necessary. We thank them and are in debt to these warriors.
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+2 # Karen 2011-11-11 14:16
Michael -- Happy Veterans Day to you, too! You have served much time both as military and a civilian with our troops. Thanks for your strong support of our troops and of Soldiers' Angels so that we "angels" can do more to support our troops. Love your new book!!!
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+3 # Denn7is 2011-11-11 15:33
Michael,

Thanks for your service to our country as well as your continuing service to our men and women in harms way. At the end of their lives, many people wonder if they've made a difference in the world. Neither you nor any or our Veterans will have to wonder.

I've heard, from reliable sources, that just saying "Thank You" to someone who has experienced combat reduces PSTD by 17%. Even if it's only 12%, or 10%, we owe them the gift of a heart at peace.

Vaya con Dios!
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+2 # Matt redmond 2011-11-11 15:35
Mike, God Bless you and all the troops over there. With out your posts I,like most Americans, would not have a clue on what our young warriors are facing over there. Keep your head down and stay safe. Matt
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+2 # Barry Sheridan 2011-11-11 15:50
Given that this is Armistice Day it is quite right to pay homage to those who serve with that rare modern quality, a sense of honour and duty. Truly those on active service are quite the best part of the United States and Britain, indeed it is a pity that the so called leaders of these countries are not half as good. That would be a major improvement!
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# Kerri 2011-11-11 19:27
Thank you, every soldier, every veteran. Thank you for being willing to the seemingly impossible, for doing what you do for our country. May God bless and keep you all.
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# Jim Gonzales 2011-11-11 20:26
Thank you to all the veterans for protecting us here at home. It must take a special person to step up and be willing to fight for your country. I just wanted to say we appreciate it more than words can express.
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# Michael 2011-11-13 20:19
Thank you, MIchael Yon, for bringing your forum to us at home. Thank you to all veterans for serving your country and making this possible.
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+1 # claudia 2011-11-11 20:38
Hi Michael,

I would like to say a heart felt thank you to all our service men and women for their years of sacrifice to our country and their selflessness. I was at my daughters school where they honored the veterans today with a ceremony that was conducted by the 3 year olds to the 8th graders. it was a very moving day honoring our fallen heroes and those that still serve. WE had veterans there to speak and i couldnt contain the tears for these men and women who feel the call to defend this great nation and thank you and bless you seems so small a thing but that is all i have. May god continue to bless our men and women and you as well Michael and please do share this letter, i want our soldiers to know that they are in my daily prayers and that of my 5 year old!!!!

Thank you Veterans and god bless you and your families.

sincerely,
Claudia
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+2 # gates 2011-11-13 01:48
That American soldier is whispering the last comforting words that child will ever hear - God bless our folks that take this on.
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# John 2011-11-20 21:14
Amen. To him and her.
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+2 # Dennis odonnell a soldiers dad 2011-11-13 08:01
Parents...teach Your children ...sheltering them from reality only weakens them. Seek out and thank our warriors..
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# John Carroll 2011-11-13 11:13
To all our Heroes in uniform.
Thank you and God bless you for all that you and your families sacrifice for us!
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+2 # THUNDER 26 2011-11-13 17:45
I have had the privilege to work 4 Marine Birthday Banquets as a Bartender over the last week. These kids( and I can call them that,bein' an 'Ol 2nd Cavalry Border Rat) are sharp ,motivated and the BEST our Country has. There is nothing we should deny them,whether deployed or in transition back to civilian life. The lack of DustOffs is a CRIME! Hell,back in the Hondo,or on the East/West German Border- "You Call- We Haul!" I had half a dozen Choppers on call at all times and they would have flown through HELL to save a Trooper. But,now it's a kinder,gentler Military,where they care more about PT belts being worn,the end of DADT and the incredibly WORST ROE TO RESTRICT OUR TROOPS SO AS TO BE PC.
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# Robert J. Burrichter 2011-11-15 09:17
Psalm 62:1,2.
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# Honza Prchal 2011-11-29 09:30
Technically, the constant warfare on our frontiers during the period leading up to the Louisiana Purchase and to our expansion West was our longest war, but this is our longest modern war unless we count near constant policing in the Phillipines as a war.
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# RE: That 1%Y 2012-02-05 02:47
May God help us kill all our enemies!
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