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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Say “Thank You” to a Soldier

Yesterday, I (attorney Richard Stevens) flew into the Atlanta airport. As I approached baggage claim, I heard a sizable crowd clapping and cheering. The focus of these cheers was an Army soldier, arriving in his desert ACUs. He was greeted there by a wife or girlfriend who had a look of absolute joy and relief to be hugging him again and welcoming him home. As they began to walk toward the baggage claim belts together, I realized that this woman was the only person he actually knew there, and the others who were loudly clapping and cheering were simply bystanders – grateful Americans. And, as the soldier and his woman walked toward the carousels, a woman yelled “Soldier passing!” and the people busily taking care of their own airport business along this soldier’s walking route stopped what they were doing and joined in the clapping and cheering. It was very moving, as is writing down what, for me, is such a strong memory and statement about who we are. I thought to myself, “What a great country we live in that scenes like this exist even when so much political debate and divisiveness is directed toward what we are doing in the Middle East.”

What I saw in the Atlanta airport became even more poignant to me when I received an e-mail chain this morning with these images of soldiers sleeping in the desert – on the road, in the ground, in a sand storm. That’s the environment the soldier arriving in Atlanta was returning from. That’s the environment so many young American men and women are currently serving in. And, that’s the environment in which brave American service members have made so many sacrifices for us, including the ultimate sacrifice.

If you see one of our fine American service men and women in your travels, take a moment to say "Thank you!" For what? For our safety. For our freedom. For the rights they protect, to include even the right to criticize the government that sent them there, and the mission they are prosecuting (if some of you choose to do so). For what? For everything!

By: Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, PC
Blog postscript: Attorney Frank Spinner and I (attorney Richard Stevens) are former active duty military lawyers (JAG). Our perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon our experience as military defense lawyers and as civilian criminal defense lawyers practicing exclusively in the area of military law. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens & The Law Office of Frank J. Spinner for a free consultation.

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