Christmas Day

Well it is Christmas and I am away from my family in a land that is very foreign to my accustomed way of life. They practice a different religion, they have missed the major philosophical arguments that have been hammered out in the west (Enlightenment, Reformation, etc), and they are woefully naïve about economics (most still hew to the principals of Karl Marx instead of Adam Smith).

Sounds pretty bad but believe it or not, it is getting better. My perspective is skewed because I am in one tough province. When I read the situation reports (SITREPS) of the other places in Afghanistan I get jealous because they are working in a friendlier environment. All I can do is keep at it and drive on. Every kid that I smile at or give candy to, every person that we medically treat, every person that has livestock that we treat, every mission we conduct that includes the participation of the Afghan National Army (ANA), every infrastructure project we do are steps that get us closer to where Afghanistan can govern itself and secure its own borders.

I guess you can say that my time and effort here are my gifts to the people of Afghanistan. It isn’t just me giving those gifts. My bride and my two sons are giving those gifts as well because I am not with them right now.

Is being here a labor of love? I love what I am doing only because I am doing it for the peace and safety for my family. I consider being an American Soldier a high calling and that wherever I am deployed it is for a noble purpose in keeping with the Christian principals that made our country unique. Peace on earth, goodwill towards men. Those are the words of the Christmas season.

The ancient Greeks learned early on that we humans are a tragic lot. We are greedy, selfish, deceitful, and our most base qualities rise to the surface in the absence of faith in a higher power. Jesus was born this day in a land that was part of the Roman Empire, a culture that gave us the concept of civic virtue but was also hedonistic, nihilistic, and brutal. Jesus grew up, preached Gods word, and the Sanhedrin engineered his crucifixion at the hands of the Roman Empire. His words lived on and eventually the Roman Empire ceased to exist but not before many of its peoples accepted Gods love and grace, all because of Jesus.

Jesus was born today so he would eventually pay for our sins with his death. His gift is what gives me solace every day, especially every day that I am here in Afghanistan. My gifts are nothing compared to what Jesus gave us. I pray that my gifts and the gifts of all my comrades in arms here will eventually bear fruit and the peoples of this country will finally know peace and have goodwill for each other.

Merry Christmas!

CPT NightHawk


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