When I was in first grade, our class put on a play based on the book The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell. There were two main parts - the aforementioned littlest angel, played by a boy named Chris Johnson, and a narrator. Since I was the best reader in class, I got to be the narrator. Chris was adorable. He wore these really cute light blue footie pajamas. Chris's father was in the military, and near the end of first grade he and his family moved to Germany. I was very sad; he was my best friend.
By the time high school roled around, Chris and his family had moved back to the United States and we caught back up with each other. After graduation, Chris continued his family tradition of military service and attended West Point Military Academy. From there, I lost track of Chris - until today. On October 16th, Chris was killed when the helicopter he was riding in collided with another in Bagdad Iraq. Until today, I had never personally known anyone killed or seriously injured in a war.
On November 2nd, we have an opportunity to honor all of our troops fighting in Iraq and stationed all over the world by electing a president that will respect them and vow to fight for their safety. John Kerry understands that war should only be a last resort - a very, very last resort. George Bush does not understand the compact that the citizens of the United States have with those who dedicate their lives (or a portion of their lives) to our protection. The military is not a toy, but Bush seems to operate on the assumption that if we have the best fighting force in the world, hey - why not use it? Our troops deserve better than this. They deserve to be valued and paid more than lip service. They deserve a president that knows what it is like to be in their shoes. It is essential for the safety and honor of our troops and their families that John Kerry be elected in 2004. It is essential for the safety and honor of our nation that we elect John Kerry on November 2nd.