Son Wounded – The six 40-millimeter live grenades that exploded within eight feet of my son’s head at a patrol base in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan left him, as he informed me over Secret channels later, “with his bell rung.” The attack was at night, he was asleep on the ground in a patrol base, and the shrapnel flew over without touching him, but the shock wave left him with a severe concussion. Other members of his team were not so fortunate, some receiving critical wounds. He received a Purple Heart, and turned down another one for a worse episode six weeks later when he was inside a building that blew up. Such is the lethal environment in which our American sons and daughters fight to preserve our way of life.
Iraq/Afghanistan Service – I was in Iraq for 19 months before going to Afghanistan for the same amount of time. I first landed in the former of the two countries on Christmas Eve, 2008. Our fighting men and women had been in combat in these faraway places for seven years. My unusual opportunity was to travel with them, see what they saw and feel what they feel, on patrol, outside the wire, where they continue to be deliberate targets for those who wish us harm. My privilege has also been to walk and talk with members of the local populace, in their villages and on the streets where they live and work in these war-torn countries, to hear from their own mouths about their dreams and fears. I returned home in January 2013.
Convictions – As a result of my experiences in the wars, I am convinced of a few things:
• Our military citizens are incredibly generous and dedicated, having given their countrymen a blank check on their lives, payable to the ultimate price at any time, without notice.
• People in the countries where we fight are victims of the same evil that attacked us on September 11, 2001. They want nothing more than to live their lives in peace and prosperity. Ronald Reagan once said that people living under communism were themselves its greatest victims. The same concept holds true in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the perversity that people face there.
• If we do not stop the evil where it starts, it will bring its depravity inside our country. We have already seen manifestations of that.
• Our country is in a bad way. Exactly how bad off is the point of fierce national debate, but regardless of left or right points of view, a profound sense is palpable that as a nation, we have lost our way.
My Voice – This site is my voice in the national debate about the direction of our country. Those who already engage with me in other media know that I am a proud conservative patriot who believes that our beloved country is best served by adherence to the Constitution and the founding principles that brought the United States of America to greatness.