I took the photo above of some army nurses in Vietnam, not because I knew any of them (I didn't) but because they were the first American women I had seen in months and they all smiled at me. Their job was to help patch up the wounded soldiers, making the pain and fear ease as they smiled and joked with them.
Today, women are on the front lines in Iraq, even though the government likes to pretend women don't serve in combat positions. They had courage, dedication, and responsibility back in 1969 and they still have it in 2009. When you see veterans marching in our 4th of July parades, look hard for the women. Do you see any? You should.
Americans will have picnics, parades, concerts, and fireworks, all in celebration of our country's birthday. We'll also remember those who died making sure we still have that political freedom today.
Captain James Clifford McKittrick is still Missing in Action. And I'm still waiting to be able to send his bracelet to his family.
Captain Barry Lynn Brown was returned to his family. I was the one who gave his family the flag that had covered his casket.