Letter to the Men and Women Who Serve

ARVADA, Colo. -- I wanted to put some words to paper...somehow, it carries more weight...  

Joining you for the Military Ball was an honor, a blessing, and a privilege.  The experience took me back to some places and some times I haven't visited in a long time.  Of course, as the son of a soldier, places and times that serve to constantly fuel a reservoir of pride and patriotism.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to stand amongst so many who have sacrificed.

My teeth were cut as a "Brat" in places like Tehran, Ft. Lee, Bremerhaven, and Giessen.  I graduated from the Department of Defense Dependent School system in Germany.  My friends were from every state, from every race, and across all religions.  But, together, we were Americans.  We had a mother or a father who was serving either directly in the military or through our government services.  We pulled the car over at the end of the day to pay respects to the flag being lowered, we shopped at the PX and we stood at attention when "The Star Spangled Banner" was played.  Our news came from the Armed Forces Network or the Stars & Stripes newspaper.  Getting home to "the World" was always something we looked forward to. 

We were lucky.  It was simple.

My bloodlines include George H. Dore, Sergeant, Company D, 126th New York Infantry who on December 1, 1864 was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery at the Battle of Gettysburg.  My grandfather, Frank Fisher, who served General Patton and the 3rd Army in France and Germany as a Military Policeman guarding German POWs.  My uncle, Vaughn McCarthy, was a Marine in Vietnam.  And, of course, my father, retired MAJ Thomas Fisher, made a career in the United States Army and then again in Government Service.  He was a graduate of Officer Candidate School, a drill instructor at Ft. Benning teaching young men to prepare for war, and then went to Vietnam himself - twice.  In addition to his Bronze Star, his career includes recognition up and down the chain of command and from the civilian community.

As you can imagine, our family cares for and has the greatest respect for our military and veteran Americans.  I teach my children that their choices in religion or politics or even personal beliefs are only allowed due to the sacrifice of men and women who wear the uniform.  They are taught to confidently walk up to men and women in uniform and give them a firm handshake - and a thank you for their service.  They know to stand still and pay respect as the flag is raised, lowered, or being sung to for our anthem.  They are our future and that future rests squarely on the men and women I had the honor to meet at your event.

Please pass along to your colleagues that, in fact, there are a large number of Americans who love them, who cherish them, and who respect them.  That what they do and what they sacrifice does not go unnoticed.  Your service and your story ... incredible.  I don't know that I've felt as lucky as I did that evening with all of you.

Thank you.  Thank you for affording me the chance to tap back into these thoughts. ...

Respectfully,

Stephen R. Fisher