Let me tell you about a fellow named George Rarey. On June 21, 1944, George, an American soldier, woke up in France. Here is an excerpt from a letter he wrote to his wife on that very day:
Every night I crawl into my little sack and light up the last cigarette of the day and there in the dark with the wind whippin’ around the tent flaps I think of you – of your hair and eyes and pretty face – of your lovely young body – of your warmth and sweetness. It isn’t in the spirit of frustration but of fulfillment. I’ve known these things and knowing them and having them once, I have them forever. That wonderful look in your eyes when we’d meet after being apart for a few hours – or a few weeks – always the same – full of love. Ah, Betty Lou, you’re the perfect girl for me – I love ya’, Mama!
George Rarey and millions of other people like him have served in the military service for the United States of America. This essay and others to follow are dedicated to George and all the people that have helped you and I live a life full of opportunity. It is a celebration of individual contributions and sacrifices for me, for you, and for all of mankind.