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The Average Soldier
Author Unknown

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 woman 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 shot..
A short lull, a little shade and
a picture of loved ones in their helmets.......

"Lord, 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."

Prayer : Please stop for a moment and say a prayer
for our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on
ships, and airmen in the air,
and for those in Iraq... and all over this
world ...This can be very powerful.......
Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier,
Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine or Airman,
prayer is the very best one.

Created with love and great pride of my United States of America.
This is an e-mail I have received from Cousin Em,
It touched me deeply for it is so true.
Thanks Cousin for sharing it!