Magazine article VFW Magazine

Christmas Tidings to the Troops

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Christmas Tidings to the Troops

Article excerpt

While we enjoy this joyous season's offerings, let's keep in mind those overseas who are protecting our way of life.

Wartime sacrifice is most keenly felt around holidays, especially Christmas. In fact, a public opinion poll revealed that 71% of Americans consider Christmas the nation's most important holiday (10 points above July 4m).

For the small minority of American families who have someone serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, these are trying times. Not to mention those actually fighting overseas. The public is another matter altogether.

"The war [Iraq] dominates our political life, but the men and women in the midst of it often are nearly invisible," David Ignatius wrote in the Washington Post. "We see them in thumbnail photos in group obituaries but not as real, living people."

Yet as has always been the case, they accept their fate stoically. "You don't hear people actually complain about missing Christmas at home I think because we're all in it together," Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick posted in an online message last year. Marine Cpl. Mathew Zofchak told a reporter: "It ends up being just another day. I guess I could sit and dwell on it, but I have 10 other guys depending on me."

Detroit Free Press staff writer Joe Swickard described Christmas 2006 for Marine reservists from Michigan. "Christmas was a blend of the blessed, bizarre and heartfelt for the 1st Battalion of the 24th Marine Regiment," he wrote. "Christmas morning came to Alpha Company with raids, a chorus of howling dogs, rocket attacks, a truckload of detainees and three controlled explosions. …

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