Thanksgiving is my being invited to write a retirement note to be read at Senior Chief Mark Dietrich’s retirement after serving 26 years in the U.S. Navy.
While my family and I are incredibly blessed and thankful for so much, we are especially thankful and grateful for the service of America’s warriors and their families who sacrifice so much to keep America free.
As America sits down to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Nugent tribe will bow our heads and give thanks for those warriors and their families who are giving so much and for those warriors who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and for their loved ones, who with broken hearts and shattered dreams must face life’s howling storms and somehow soldier on. May God bless them all.
Before dining on deer, duck and wild turkey, the Nugent tribe will also thank God Almighty for Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams and others who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to give birth to this unique experiment in self-government and individual liberty. Thanksgiving forever for the patriots who sacrificed everything for the chance at giving birth to liberty and freedom.
The Nugent family will give thanks to the volunteers at the soup kitchens, the food banks and the Salvation Army bell ringers. Blessed are those who serve the less fortunate. Thanksgiving is for the volunteers.
We will give thanks to the entrepreneurs, the risk takers, the warriors for the greatest quality of life on earth. The Nugent family knows they are the engine of our republic, the people who propel America and the world forward. Thanksgiving is for mankind’s greatest invention: capitalism.
We will give thanks for the thin blue line of professional law enforcement warriors who protect us and for the firemen who bravely rush into infernos and put their lives on the line. Thanksgiving is for those who protect us.
The Nugent family will give thanks for the parents who sit at the dining room table with their children and help them study so that they will have a better shot at the American Dream than what they had. Caring parents are the bedrock of America. Thanksgiving is for the loving parents.
We will pray for our elected representatives who still believe, like our Founding Fathers, that limited government is necessary to ensure America remains the shining city on the hill. Thanksgiving is for our leaders who still respect and work tirelessly to ensure the timeless vision of limited government.
We will give thanks for Generals Patton, Puller, Mattis, Grimsley and the brave men and women warriors who served under them and who have liberated more people around the world than all other militaries and nations combined. Thanksgiving is for the warriors, the peacemakers, the liberators.
There would be no Thanksgiving, no cause for pausing and giving thanks for the blessings America has been bestowed by God, if it were not for those brave warriors and their families. President Lincoln said it best 150 years ago at the hallowed ground of Gettysburg battlefield: “… that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
America is blessed. Let us commit to working overtime to ensuring we leave America in better shape when we’re gone than when we arrived. That is the ultimate American Dream.
Happy Thanksgiving, Senior Chief Dietrich. You are the Great White Buffalo.