It was slightly after 11:00 p.m. last night–Christmas Eve–that I was expertly playing the role of That Idiot Dad, driving around town in a peacoat and plaid pajama pants in desperate search of four more “C” cell batteries. Finally, after a few stops, I bought the last batteries on the rack at a not-so-nearby gas station. Any other day it might have been a headache, but there was something about the Christmas carols on the radio, the snow on the ground, and the knowledge that the following morning my daughter’s eyes would light up in a way that only Christmas morning can bring.
As I drew closer to home, Bing Crosby came across the radio singing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” It made me think of the last time I hear that song, which was this past Monday as I returned home to Philadelphia from an Athens, GA wedding through the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. It was on the loudspeaker as we waited near the gate for our flight, and I thought it seemed a fairly cruel song to play in an airport terminal, especially considering the hundreds of military personnel we saw near the check-in counters, preparing to ship out to Afghanistan.
In a few hours’ time, I’ll have the chance to see my daughter’s face light up, to watch her marvel at the nearly empty plate of chocolate chip cookies and the empty glass of milk, and to listen to her giggle as she plays around with her battery-sucking educational videogame device. I’m so gosh-darned lucky–we all are–that our freedom and safety and security are preserved by the brave men and women who put on that uniform and fight for America overseas.
At Hartsfield on Monday, some of the men and women looked as though they could have just graduated high school, but others were there walking with and talking with and eating with wives and husbands and children for the last time in God-knows-how-long. On one occasion, as we walked toward the security line, I got choked up and almost lost it completely as I saw a soldier about my age kissing and talking to his wife’s very pregnant belly. I remember the sheer joy which accompanied my daughter’s birth, and knowing that this man would miss that moment just drove home the sacrifice that each and every one of them are making.
Today, as you go to church and open gifts and watch football and argue politics over a long dining room table with not even a square inch to spare, please think of the brave American men and women currently serving overseas, and please think about the families here at home who have an empty spot at the table, who pray extra hard at church, who might leave a few wrapped presents set aside for later. Think about what they all do for us. Think about the sacrifice they’re all making.
On behalf of all of us at America’s Right, I’d like to wish you and your families the merriest of Christmases and a healthy, happy and prosperous new year, and I implore you to think about and pray for those who give everything so that we may live in freedom.