tribute to First Lieutenant Andrew Grayson that was written by his
uncle after charges were filed against him in the Haditha incident. I
shed tears as I read it and I realized that often it is easy to allow
words to go unsaid. Especially words that may be sentimental or words
that may cause us more emotion than we are comfortable with.
pondered the charges that have been made against you and again read
the letter by Lieutenant Grayson’s uncle, I asked myself, “why?” I
thought of reason upon reason, some realistic and some not so
realistic. I came to no conclusion, but I did decide that the time
had come to pay tribute to you.
began this missive, I reflected upon you and how you came to be the
person that you are. I wondered what and who influenced you the
most. Was it the many books on history that you read? Was it a movie
that you watched? Was it a teacher, or preacher? Was it one of your
grandpas, who both served in the military? Was it one of your uncles,
who all served? Or, perhaps it was your father who is a retired
Whatever the reason, at some juncture you made the decision to join
the military. A man that is willing to put on the uniform of this
country and do what is necessary for the right of liberty and the
right of freedom for this land. A man that is willing to put his life
on the line.
the Stars and Stripes many wars have been fought by men such as you.
They have been fought by men of valor who believed in the right of
democracy. They have been fought by men of courage who answered the
call and marched forward into battle. They have been fought by men of
conviction who understand that there has been and always will be a
price for freedom.
such a man. You believe in the American dream, in American values,
and most especially you believe in freedom. You have served your
country for our freedom to live in domestic tranquility, to pursue
happiness, and to worship freely. You have gone the extra mile in
keeping America free for American’s to live their American dream, with
these freedoms intact for this generation and hopefully the next.
point I will refrain from saying much more, but I do feel that I speak
for most Americans when I say that freedom is not nor has it ever been
free. The price for America’s freedom has been great, and has been
purchased by men such as you throughout history. It started with the
Revolutionary War and has continued to present day America.
think a value can be placed on the service that has been rendered to
this country by you and others like you. You serve because you chose,
and you chose because you are a brave, honorable, devoted, and proud
American. You are on your third tour of duty in Iraq, and have given
yourself freely to your country for this cause. No, freedom is not
free, but it is a precious gift, given by men like you to this nation.
one, am a thankful American, and a proud aunt. My prayers are always
August 10, 200