Doug: Through the highs and lows, the good times and bad, and even in spite of some of the stupid things we do, I still look with pride on the Stars and Stripes. Thanks for being a Land of Opportunity.
Doug: The following story was relayed to me by my wife's uncle, a Vietnam veteran who works with other vets. He put out an e-mail that simply asked his clients, "What do you think of on the 4th of July?" Here is one of the replies:
My first contact with the American military was when I was a young boy living in Beirut Lebanon. Though I don't remember why, Eisenhower sent the Marines to Lebanon and after they landed they set up camp on the beach, directly under our 4th story balcony.
After a few days, we developed a game where we'd throw water balloons off of our balcony at them and if we hit them they'd give us a chocolate bar. They were all bigger than life and so nice.
They were there for one of the holidays (July 4, Memorial Day, Veterans Day -- I can't remember) and they had a big party on the beach. They told us stories about living in America and how wonderful it was. I was enthralled and wanted so badly to move here.
The luckiest day in my life was the day our ship came through New York Harbour and Lady Liberty shown down upon me true freedom.
Corny, but true to this day.
Happy 4th ....