Congratulations and thank you to every member of the U. S. armed forces, their wives, husbands, children, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends, aunts and uncles, grandparents, sisters and brothers, teachers, coaches, and civilian employers. You won the war in Iraq. In the process, you may well have defeated Al Qaeda worldwide. You suffered abuse at the hands of anti-American liberals, you overcame Donald Rumsfeld's incompetent leadership, you left limbs and lives on the battlefield. Yet you never relented. You pushed on and fought on. You were our inspiration and motivation when we should have been yours. You became our heroes.
While the war is not over, the outcome is decided. You won. We win. You defeated our enemy with poise, skill, and dignity. You will hold your heads up high and accept the accolades of grateful nation. You return to civilian life heroes and role models.
In the darkness of battle, soldiers carry out tasks that, later, some question. Don't you. Your actions were noble and necessary. You performed brilliantly despite the New York Times' hopes you'd all die in battle. America is not the New York Times. America is hope, achievement, and greatness. You are America.
You represent what General Patton spoke of when he said:
"Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American."
Yes. There were cowards in America during World War II. Even in that great battle, liberal cowards wanted to make peace with Hitler. (Most liberals are Jew haters, you know.) But Patton and the 3rd Army didn't listen to them, and neither did you.
God bless you. Welcome home. Congratulations. Thank you.