Wednesday, November 24, 2004


My daughter-in-law has arrived for Thanksgiving. Her husband, my older son, is deployed as a Navy helicopter pilot to the Middle East. I hope he is enjoying the day with friends.

We are enjoying his wife.

One of the things I'm thankful for is the vastly improved ability of our deployed troops and sailors to communicate with their loved ones while away from home. My son and his wife chat by instant messages and using some sort of VOIP (voice over internet protocol).

When I deployed we wrote letters and sent them in batches, carefully numbering them so that the sequence was understood. When my first child was born, I got news of it through a Red Cross message routed through Radio Central on the destroyer I was serving in. When we got to Subic I spent a small fortune trying to call my wife's family to learn important details. I spoke to my mother-in-law's maid several times (because my wife's family were all at the hospital), but it took a couple of days to talk to anyone else. I got the first photos several weeks later. Now, I guess digital pictures zip through the ether at near light speed and proud new dads get to see their new responsibility pretty quickly.

I'm thankful for anything that makes life better for our warriors and the huge support team behind them.

And I'm thankful for this great country that produces such men and women and supports them.

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