the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
As a member of the United States Armed Forces, your work is making a
difference daily in the lives of millions of people throughout the world.
You have volunteered to take on an incredible responsibility, and you
continue to exceed our expectations.
For centuries, U.S. soldiers have protected American families, guarded our
coasts, saved our cities, and paved the way for our children and
grandchildren to enjoy the same freedoms we cherish today. The work you are
doing today is furthering the greatest spread of freedom and democracy in
the history of the world. While most people cannot claim they risked their
lives for something that is greater than themselves, you have earned this
Tremendous responsibility rarely comes without great sacrifice. As you fight
the War on Terrorism by land, air, and sea, I can only imagine how much you
miss your family, your friends, and the comforts of home. American families
are now celebrating the holiday season, and your absence is felt in your
communities. While we continue to enjoy the blessings of living in our great
nation, we will never forget that the American way of life is made possible
by your service. You remain in the thoughts and prayers of every American.
Since our country was attacked on September 11, 2001, you have played a
critical role in spreading peace through strength. Where a brutal dictator
once ruled in Iraq, a new democracy has now begun to flourish. Where women
were dominated by an oppressive regime in Afghanistan, they now play a
critical role in their country and are enjoying the rights and privileges of
democratic societies. Where terrorists once seeped through the borders of
Pakistan, they are now being captured by American and Pakistani forces.
Where murderers once plotted disastrous attacks against innocent civilians,
they are now detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Where terrorists once found
safe haven in the Horn of Africa, they are now on the run and unable to
access the critical support they need to carry out their fanaticism. In
country after country, you are stopping terrorists and ultimately protecting
As a member of Congress, I have had the unique opportunity to visit your
battlefields and witness your many successes. Each week, you are capturing
terrorists, rebuilding communities, and giving people around the world the
chance to experience opportunities that only exist in free nations. Although
the media rarely reports your victories, I strongly believe that the
American people recognize that you are making tremendous progress.
The threat of terrorism is not temporary and your service will remain
essential for years to come. We will continue to stand behind you and to
entrust you with the duty of protecting our country and our families. As you
resolve crises and destroy the enemies of democracy throughout the world,
you reflect precisely why we must prevail in this war. You are the
definition of decency, the embodiment of excellence, and the meaning of
strength. Your presence abroad is securing our safety at home.
with an outstanding outlet to personally express our appreciation to you,
the brave men and women who make our freedoms possible. As the father of
three sons serving in the military (including one who served for a year in
Iraq), I fully understand how important it is for you to know that we
support your mission. I am sure Americans throughout the world would agree
with me when I say that we have never been prouder of our men and women in
Although I will never be able to fully express my gratitude, I can guarantee
you my unwavering support. As you continue to work for the best prize that
life has to offer, never underestimate your contribution or forget how much
your efforts mean to the American people.
Congressman Joe Wilson is Co-Chair of the Victory in Iraq Caucus and a
member of the House Armed Services Committee. He has visited Iraq 5 times
and served in the National Guard for over 31 years.