I hope that it is ok that I share this with you. I tried to find a copy on the website, but could not.
Dear Friend of the USO:
A few days from now, Fourth of July celebrations will be held in smalltowns and big cities all across America. Bunting will be everywhere.Parades will feature bands, antique cars, kids on bikes, and veterans ofmany conflicts... all marching proudly to show their patriotism and loveof country.
At the same time, halfway around the world, 170,000 brave young men andwomen will demonstrate their patriotism in another way: by putting theirlives at risk to defend everything America stands for.
As we gather in our backyards for cookouts and picnics, our troopsoverseas will grab an MRE and head out to patrol crowded streets andback alleys where insurgents continue to lurk.
As we play softball or watch a parade, they'll spend their afternoons inharm's way: a "place" where rounding any corner can mean a deadlyambush... where stopping any car or passerby can trigger an explosionand sudden death.
As we "ooh" and "aah" at fireworks displays, they'll duck live roundsand remain alert for the sudden rush of an incoming rocket-propelledgrenade.
Today, the nation's economic concerns continue to push the ongoingviolence in Iraq and Afghanistan off the front pages; some Americans mayeven have forgotten about the brave men and women who are doing theirjob overseas, but counting the days till it's their turn to share thehome-town celebrations with their loved ones and friends.
However, the USO hasn't forgotten; we've already geared up to provideextra services to our troops... not just for July 4th, but throughoutthe weeks and months ahead.
As Americans, we count on them. They count on us. I hope we can count onyou.On behalf of those we serve,
Sloan D. Gibson