Here's an email note (to his mom, Julie) from a step-cousin, Stefan Sturkie (above photo) of Columbia, S.C., now serving in Iraq. It needs no further set-up:
I didn't even really realize it was Thanksgiving today until I received an email from Nigel (Stefan's brother) this morning. It got me to thinking, and all this time that I get to spend in war has made me a lot more thankful than in the past.
I'm thankful to be alive. Thankful that I don't have to worry about people killing my family because they see a different face for God. Thankful that I have all my limbs. Thankful that my wife and children aren't mourning because I was the one to be killed. Thankful for the time that I had with some of my friends before they were taken from me. Thankful for my wife and kids (even though the kids can be trying at times), and thousands of other little things.
I really hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving, and please think of all those that can't be with the ones that they love. Even if you don't agree with the choices that our leaders make, all the people in the military deserve the support and prayers of the public for sacrificing their time and sometimes their lives so that you can live unaware of the atrocities that happen in the world.
My love and happy holidays,
P.S. Sorry if this is a little morbid, it's been a rather trying 3 months.
MY UNSOLICITED REPLY: Stefan, I'd like to say we at home are at least thinking of you and your fellow soldiers and your bravery, courage, sacrifice and strength, and no doubt some are, and of course your own family members are. But you gotta remember, it's the holiday season over here and that's when Americans do what they do best - shop.
A bad-vibe thought that encompasses this nasty little war, the one that could take your life, or any kind of thought that's, like, uh, "too negative" could easily get in the way of, like, buying things.
Here's more from my friend Doug on this issue, and from a dude at the NYT. Keep your own karma cool. The reality here is that very few are going to do it for you. Know that some are praying and thinking for you, especially since you've sent this note.
Please respond here in the Comments section if you possibly can. The more people hear your POV and your thoughts, the more our karma, our thoughts, whatever we have to give, can be re-directed to where it should be.
You ARE in our thoughts, even if all we really have to look forward to is National Blog Drunk Day!