Prayer for Military Men and Women

       


The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired,
tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old
enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never
really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash
his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student,
pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and
has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or
swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens
to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm
howizzitor. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home
because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he
can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in
the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or
grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a
professional.  He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is
told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he
is not without spirit or individual dignity.  He is self-sufficient. He
has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps
his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his
teeth, but never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry,
his food.  He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of
battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons
and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take
it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a
civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He
has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short
lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.
He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in
combat and is unashamed.  He feels every note of the National Anthem
vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the
burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to
stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in
and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying
the price for our freedom.  Beardless or not, he is not a boy.

He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over
200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with
his blood.  And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their
part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do
so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this picture.. A short lull, a
little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.

ôLord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they
protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they
perform for us in our time of need. Amen."


 

 

 

 

       

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

 

"Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you."

 

       


Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

         Did you know his trial is over?

         Did you know he was sentenced?
         Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV/Radio?
         Didn't think so.
  
Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.
         Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.


         Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.

         His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah," defiantly stated "I think I will not apologize for my actions," and told the court "I am at war with your country."

         Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

        
January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young:
         "Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you. 

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the
United States Attorney General.  On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other.


         That's 80 years. 

 

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed.  The Court imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.  The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.


         The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it.  But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.  This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes.  It is a fair and just sentence.  It is a righteous sentence.

         Let me explain this to you.  We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid.  We are Americans.  We have been through the fire before.  There is all too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.  Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals.  As human beings, we reach out for justice.


        You are not an enemy combatant.  You are a terrorist.  You are not a soldier in any war.  You are a terrorist.  To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature.  Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or if you think you are a soldier.  You are not ----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists.  We do not meet with terrorists.  We do not sign documents with terrorists.  We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

         So war talk is way out of line in this court.  You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior.  I've known warriors.  You are a terrorist.  A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders.  In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said: "You're no big deal."

         You are no big deal.

         What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific.  What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

         I have listened respectfully to what you have to say.  And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing.  And I have an answer for you.  It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

         It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom.  Our individual freedom.  Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.  Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom.  It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea.  It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom.  So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely.  It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

         We Americans are all about freedom.  Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.  Make no mistake though.  It is yet true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.  Look around this courtroom  Mark it well.  The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here.  Day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.  Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across
America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.  The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and layout evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

         See that flag, Mr. Reid?  That's the flag of the
United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten.  That flag stands for freedom.  And it always will.

         Mr. Custody Officer.  Stand him down."


         So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets?

We need more judges like Judge Young, but that's another subject.  Pass this around.  Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say.
Powerful words that strike home.

         God bless
America.

 

 

 

 

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