by R. Lee Wrights
BURNET, Texas (Nov. 24) – Once again, we’re entering a season of thanksgiving and joy, when Americans gather with their friends and families to give thanks for their blessings and prosperity, enjoy the camaraderie and warmth of being with those they love, and pray for peace and a better world. It saddens me to know that hundreds of thousands of Americans once again won’t be able to be with their families at this special time of year. For far too many of the men and women of our Armed Forces serving in far-off lands, this won’t be their first holiday season away from home – nor will it be their last. Sadder still is that for some of those brave souls serving their country, this could be the last holiday season of their lives. That should not be.
In the spirit of the season, there are a multitude of organizations and thousands of people who unselfishly endeavor to make the holidays a little brighter for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines away from home. I’ve been a recipient of their graciousness, and it did make my holiday a little better. Yet while I greatly admire and respect their sincerity and efforts, nothing they can do – nothing anyone can do – can truly make up for being separated from your family and loved ones on any occasion, for any reason.
Nothing can replace the precious memories lost by a young father or mother who can only see their child celebrate their first Thanksgiving and Christmas via a Skype call. Nothing can ease the pain of parents who wonder whether their son or daughter will be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas next year – or will even live to see it. No electronic marvel, no taped messages aired on TV and radio, no “CARE package” however lovingly wrapped, no sumptuous meal of turkey with all the trimmings, however fondly prepared, can substitute for actually being home for the holidays.
On this Thanksgiving, I not only will give thanks for the service and sacrifice of the members of our Armed Forces, but I will also renew my promise to support our troops by bringing them home. The greatest gift our nation can give to the brave men and women who have pledged their lives in our nation’s defense is to honor that commitment by never again sending them into harm’s way capriciously, unnecessarily, for political gain or to line the pockets of those who profit from their sacrifice. America is indeed the home of the brave and we should bring the brave home so that they can enjoy the “blessings of liberty” in the bosom and safety of their families.
R. Lee Wrights, 53, a libertarian writer and political activist, is seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end he has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states. Wrights is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and co-founder and editor of of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., he now lives and works in Texas.