Today I worked on a log home project, Stacey and I own and operate a log home restoration and building company. As the day wore on and my tired muscles screamed for relief of their burdens, I took a moment to relax under the shadow of the majestic Beartooth Mountains. The sky warned of a coming storm over the high peaks and snow drifted in and out throughout the afternoon. I turned on the radio in the pickup and listened to the latest news and commentary coming from the speakers. An actor was found guilty of tax evasion and the gas prices are still on the rise, the presidential candidates are battling for position and votes in the east. The world came to me through the radio, near the end of the broadcast, a short blurb about three soldiers who lost their lives to a roadside bomb in Iraq. Must be old news, I contemplated the media’s decision to leave the death of our hero’s on the back burner. Do the American people really care more about Paris Hiltons sexual exploits than about our warriors who are dying in a foreign land in the name of freedom? I for one would like to hear more about our men and women on the battlefield, and what we can do to ensure a quick and safe return for our servicemen and women who lay their lives on the line for us. As I sit on the porch of the cabin, I see beauty and wonder all around me, an eagle soars on a high thermal, from his elevation he can probably see for a hundred miles in any direction. A cottontail rabbit eats on the new spring grasses at the edge of the yard unaware of the winged danger soaring overhead. I am not a political person and do not readily dive into discussion about controversial issues. However, I am an American, I come from a long lineage of Americans who have fought, bled, and died so that I could sit here near this mountain and enjoy a life of freedom. I know many of our warriors will never see their homeland again, they will forever be in our thoughts and prayers, even though we may have never met and do not know their names. Every time I am privileged to meet one of our heroes, no matter if they are those who fought many years ago, or those who grace the battlefields today, I shake their hand, look them in the eye and say a heartfelt THANK YOU. A small gesture between fellow Americans, but a gesture of honor and sincerity nonetheless. I am blessed to live in the great state of Wyoming U.S.A., and am proud of our heritage and proud of the men and women who protect our borders and the borders of those who cannot protect their own. The media may not believe that our fallen warriors are worth the front page, but I believe they have earned the right to stand above the movie stars and singers.
To all of our warriors I say thank you for your sacrifices and your honor and integrity while protecting the innocent. You are not forgotten up here on this mountain brothers and sisters, your voice is heard loud and clear and I am proud to say I am an American, and will remain free as long as you stand guard over us. Mike Hawk Huston.