Soggy Northern Virginia, 31 December 2018


As a very wet, soggy 2018 changes into 2019, I am focused more on a different set of numbers. 200,000, or 400,000, or perhaps a number somewhere in between. Depending on which government source and which moment of a particular day, there are somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 members of our Armed Forces not sleeping in their own bed tonight. The numbers change continuously and by the second.

These guardians of our freedom—be they men or women. Marines, Air Force, Navy, Army, Coast Guard or other. Whether on permanent change of station or temporary duty—they are manning the ramparts so that the rest of us may sleep peacefully as the New Year begins.

And the numbers affected are actually far larger than just the forces deployed. Those deployed men and women have wives, husbands, sons, daughters and other family members that they are serving alongside them in spirit. That is also the spirit of America.

Whether your drink of choice to ring in the New Year is a peaty Scotch, a Belgian Trappist Ale, or Spring Water….raise a glass to those around you. And to those Americans who aren’t able to see the ball drop in Times Square, or see the Fireworks in Smalltown, USA. And those worried about them.

Happy New Year from the staff and volunteers at the Americans in Wartime Museum.


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