May 17, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Armed Forces Day

Today is Armed Forces Day, a holiday established by President Truman in 1949 to give thanks to the men and women of our armed forces for their service to our country. Having served in the military myself, I know just what it's like to be a member of the armed forces—during wartime, even—so I want to send out a wholehearted thank-you to the members of the U.S. military.

When I served in the Gulf War in 1991, onboard the USS Ranger, the support I and my fellow shipmates received from people back home was overwhelming. Mail came by the sackful from family, friends and complete strangers. Family members sent me videotaped copies of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Friends sent me audiotapes that they'd recorded at parties. People I'd never met sent me photos of their kids and letters full of praise and thank-you's.

It all peaked when we steamed into San Diego Bay on June 8, 1991. I'll never forget the experience of standing on the flight deck as we came home, the bay clogged by pleasure craft loaded with flag-waving citizens, the shoreline crowded with thousands of well-wishers. The dock itself swelled with over 10,000 family members and friends, each one awaiting the arrival of a loved one. The pride and joy I felt when I finally found my group in that mob made the event one of the highlights of my entire life.

Though I had to work when the USS Abraham Lincoln steamed into San Diego Bay a couple of weeks ago, returning from an equally successful campaign in Iraq, I was there in spirit welcoming it home. All political issues aside, the men and women of the armed forces are the ones putting themselves in harm's way at the command of our country's leaders. Fighting a war is all in a day's work for them. They don't do it because they want to, but because they're doing their job. And for that, I for one am thankful.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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5/16: Reload
5/15: Temporary Defeat
5/12: What, Me Write?
5/11: Rockin' Out
5/10: Van Halen at the Tokyo Dome
5/9: Your Tax Dollars at Work
5/8: Yes, I Am a Nerd
5/7: Still Writing
5/6: A Different World?
5/5: Sponge
5/4: MacGyver
5/3: Mike's Sky Ranch
5/2: Baja Bound
5/1: Ice Moon
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