Don't worry about us today. Relax in your fire-warmed homes. Cut the bows and tear open the packages. Call the grandparents. Shovel the driveway and then build a snowman. Dig into the potatoes and have an extra slice of ham. Share a kiss under the mistletoe. Drink up the eggnog, and don't forget to raise a toast for your soldier far away.
Make sure everything is well at home- we'll take care of things here.
I wrote a post a year ago from the heart of the insurgency in Iraq's al-Anbar province. At the time, Ramadi was still one of the most violent cities in Iraq- the province as a whole was considered by many to be a lost fight. How things have changed in a year!
Now, I can do all the things I told you to do in that letter a year ago. My brothers and I shoveled the driveway. I opened presents with my family and my girlfriend, and talked to my sole remaining grandparent- the last man in the family before myself to have walked the deserts of the Middle East. Last night, I raised a toast for my friends who have now taken over my fight. They, and we, are succeeding, despite the opinions of some to the contrary. I don't begrudge others their viewpoints, and I certainly appreciate that proceeds from "Christmas in Falluja" will benefit wounded troops, but I feel that lyrics such as "It's Christmas in Fallujah/And we ain't never coming home/We came to bring these people Freedom/We came to fight the Infidel/There is no justice in the desert/Because there is no God in Hell" reflect poorly on the reality of what we are finally accomplishing.
I'm rambling again... this post started out as a cheery "Merry Christmas", and turned bragging/political. I'll let it stand though. Thank you all for the support you have shown us, and have some happy holidays!