A Letter To The Editor
The Olympics have been a much needed diversion to me this week. Every night I watch with tears as Michael Phelps wins the Gold for the USA. I think to myself he’s doing it for us, he’s doing it for America. I think we have all fallen "in Love with Michael" and I love watching his mother in the stands and her heartfelt response as she sees her son touch the wall yet again — the winner. What an experience, what a triumph! He is now America’s son, America’s hero.
It’s such a contrast to flipping on the computer and checking "My Space" messages from my son, who is also six thousand miles away and he, too, is soaking wet. But he is not wet from swimming; he is wet from his own sweat. He, too, is exhausted, but he is exhausted from carrying an extra 80 pounds of armor and weapons in 120 degrees for 19 hours. His message today read, "Mom, I’m exhausted from patrolling all night, chasing bad guys, only get three hours of sleep a day. I’m not coming home for R&R now till the end of September (third time it’s been delayed), got to get some shut eye, love ya. Richard." My eyes well up with tears as sadness strikes through my heart and I think to myself he is doing this for his country, not for a medal — not even for a paycheck — but simply for his country. He is an Infantryman, he is a soldier, and he is my son. I can’t be more proud knowing that he is putting his life on the line for you and me. Not only him, but every soldier — marine, airman and sailor. They are all our sons; they are our heroes.
So as Michael Phelps stands up on that podium and America’s National Anthem is played yet again, while you are welling up with American Pride and hope, please, please take a moment to think of all those who are serving this Country. Please honor them as they honor us.
8/16/06 Jeanne Meadows