An old friend and shipmate from active Navy days sent this. It is unlikely that many anti-military, anti-war or other such naysayers log onto this Website more than once, so it may be like “preaching to the choir,“ but I thought I should share it with you.

Captain Larry Hamilton, U.S. Navy (Ret) wrote: My nephew is currently serving his second tour on the staff of an Expeditionary Strike Group embarked on the USS TARAWA - now enroute to Hong Kong and Singapore on their return to San Diego. They were on a routine cruise until an earthquake hit Pakistan on October 8, 2005. The Navy sent the TARAWA to the area and RADM LeFever and staff went ashore to command Disaster Assistance Center Pakistan, the U.S. Military humanitarian efforts from Islamabad. On January 6, 2006, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld ordered the admiral and his staff to remain in Pakistan through the winter. There are currently 870 service personnel representing all services remaining in Pakistan. My nephew was one of those chosen to return to the ship before it started home.

The following are LTJG Brian Hamilton‘s comments about his experience:

“To summarize my stay in Pakistan, I would say it was well worth it. I'm glad to have had the chance, and I truly believe we did/are doing an excellent job out there helping those in need.

“I've received a couple emails from you saying how not everyone back home is against the military and support what we're doing. Good. If these disillusioned Americans could really see what the Armed Forces are doing for people around the world, they might think differently.

“It's frustrating that the media prefers to highlight the occasional mistake or bad apple that might come along instead of inspiring America with the remarkable jobs the men and women in the military carry out every day. Did you know at one point we had over 1200 people in Pakistan for the relief effort? Most of those people were living in tents up in the mountains with the sick and dying, trying (often in vain) to save just one more person every day.

“We've got service members in Iraq, Afghanistan, UAE, Qatar, etc., and the farthest reaches of international waters just to make this world a safe place. We are there for every catastrophe, every conflict, and every natural disaster the earth has to offer. These men and women (sometimes boys and girls) are giving their lives for the freedom and well being of other countries.

“Name me one other country in the world that does that on a continuous basis.

“Do me a favor: the next time you hear someone bad-mouthing the military or the USA, let them know you have a friend serving proudly and that they can leave anytime they want. And the next time you see someone in uniform, say ‘Thank you.’ You would never believe how much that means to them.

“I don't mean to rant, but sometimes it gets to me.”