Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving, 2010 - So Many Reasons To Be Grateful

Even as America struggles through the most challenging times since the Great Depression, there are so many reasons to be grateful.

Here are a few of mine:

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I'm thankful for my family - my wife, my sons, my daughters, my grandchildren, and my countless relatives who are scattered throughout America from the Atlantic to the Pacific;

I'm thankful that my parents, John and Claire Grist, taught me the values that they did. They are no longer with us, but I hope that I did not disappoint them;

I'm thankful that God has given strength to those in my family - and those throughout America - who have suffered great challenges, both financial and medical, during this last year. They have shown strength and resolve in dealing with their difficulties;

I'm thankful that my son, John, survived his near-fatal automobile accident and will share his Thanksgiving with us as he recuperates. He almost lost his right foot and part of his leg, but the air bag saved his life. I am also grateful for the skill of his surgeons;

I'm thankful that I was able to retire this year and spend some quality time with my beloved wife. My own parents were not so fortunate. My mother died before my father retired;

I'm thankful for our founding fathers and for their vision in creating the United States of America;

I'm thankful that Americans, in the form of the Tea Party movement, have risen to the occasion - as their ancestors did - to put the brakes on the decline of our wonderful country. The bad times are not over, but we shall stick together, and America shall remain the greatest, most inspirational country in history;

I'm thankful that I was able to spend many years as both a soldier and a police officer, serving with some of the finest, bravest, most selfless Americans that I have ever known;

I'm thankful that God allowed me to survive the wars in Vietnam and Iraq without so much as a scratch;

And, finally, I shall always remain grateful for the thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, who continue to fight the good fight on our behalf, who stand guard at scores of posts throughout the world, and without whom we would not be able to enjoy Thanksgiving in peace and safety.

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May all Americans - both at home and abroad - enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe, joyous holiday season.

Charles M. Grist

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remember Veterans Day And All Who Served

Thank you to all those who have served America from the American Revolution to this very moment. Even as you continue to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan, or lesser known battlefields throughout the world, know that we are with you in spirit always.

The following video was sent to me by a fellow retired soldier:

Charles M. Grist

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday to The Few, The Proud, The Marines

I have had the distinct pleasure to serve alongside Marines in two separate wars: Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I'm an old Army guy, but one of my favorite books in high school was "Battle Cry" by Leon Uris, a novel about Marines in World War II.

I must admit that during one of my in-country R & Rs in Vietnam, I linked up with a Marine in Vung Tau. We tore the town up, and both of us ended up passed out from too much Vietnamese beer. In Baghdad in 2004, a Marine officer signed out an M79 grenade launcher to my Protective Service Detail when I was unable to get an M203 assigned to my team. For this reason alone, I love the Marines...

The Marine Corps is celebrating its 235th birthday, and this old soldier wishes them well for the next 235 years.

Semper fi, Marines. We thank you for your courage and your continued sacrifice on our behalf.

Charles M. Grist