Young Cody Jackson, at the tender age of eight, already has an understanding for what our troops do in the name of freedom.
Jackson shows up at the Atlanta Airport several times a week in a military-style uniform to greet the GIs who are arriving or departing at Hartsfield-Jackson. A quick salute, a piece of candy, and this young patriot has done his job of making our men and women in uniform feel appreciated.
Quite a departure from the homecomings endured by soldiers returning home from Vietnam so many years ago when they were jeered and chastised for doing nothing more than following orders.
We can argue among ourselves about the merits of sending troops overseas to fight seemingly unnecessary battles, but that is not the point. What is the point is the respect we all should have for the sacrifices made by our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen.
It really doesn’t matter if you do, or do not, support what is happening in the Middle East. Our military is always on guard defending this great nation of ours. As for those brave men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and anywhere on Earth where America has prosecuted war, just remember “Freedom is not free.”
There is a small detachment of USO volunteers at the Atlanta Airport and there needs to be one at every airport where a soldier returns home. If you have the time, volunteer. If you have the money, donate. If not, take a cue from Cody Jackson and thank our troops whenever you see one of them. They are the reason we enjoy the rights and freedoms we have in America.
As for you, Mr. Jackson: Thank you for what you are doing and I am sure you will make a fine soldier some day.