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July 2nd, 2010 by Dr. Phil

A Day of Reflection

troops1More than 180,000 U.S. troops are currently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, sacrificing their lives to keep America safe. This Independence Day, while we’re out watching fireworks and going to cookouts with loved ones, our thoughts, prayers and thanks should be with the brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way every day to stand up for peace. Over the holiday weekend, the chances are pretty good that you’ll cross paths with at least one or more veterans. I encourage you to show respect and give him or her thanks.  In my mind, there’s just not enough we can do for these heroes.

Back in October of last year, I had the honor of emceeing an event for Iraq Star, an organization that provides reconstructive surgery to soldiers returning from the war. The event is appropriately called A Night of Honour, and it meant a great deal for Robin and me to be a part of it.  I also visited the newly built Fisher House in Los Angeles, which provides housing to veterans and family members of veterans who are receiving treatment at nearby military medical centers. I encourage you to learn more about supporting our troops, including the work of Fisher House and Iraq Star — if only to make their services known to all service men and women out there, and let them know that we are here for them, and we are grateful.

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16 Responses to “A Day of Reflection”

  1. april achord says:

    While sitting here today thinking about what independence means, I think about my “brother” Justin, who at this moment is in Iraq. I talk with him alot on fb and skype and know how much he misses being home. He knew he would miss it when he signed up, he knew he would miss it the day he set foot on that plane to a country he has never been too and on days like today I know he misses it even more knowing his family and friends are all together and he can’t be here.
    I also think about my husbands grandfather who recently passed away. At his funeral they displayed all the medals he won for serving, in the middle they placed his purple heart, a medal of extreme honor and bravery in the face of danger. He truely put his life on the line for his brothers in arms and because of him they got to spend alittle more time with their loved ones.
    Lastly I think of my grandfather, who is at this moment lying in a hospital bed in his living room dying of cancer. They don’t think he will make it through the week and I know this is the last independance day he will see. He is going to be with his family and those he served with who has passed before him. When he gets there I know that when he stands before God he will be given much honor and maybe even a special medal from God thanking him for protecting his children. He will hand his boots with pride knowing that he did his job and did it well.
    Today I will spend the day with his son, my dad, who is also a veteran. He means the world to me because even though he is not my real dad, you would never be able to convince him any different. He served our army with pride and determination and upon leaving the army served his community as a fire fighter. He is truely a hero in so many ways and I am so very proud, so very honored to call him my dad. I am truely blessed to have so many heros in my life who have done so much for so many. Today I will remember them, pray for them and make sure they know how much I love them.

  2. Susan Sacca says:


    Thank you for your blog and allowing me to REACH OUT and TO THANK OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMAN for Protecting OUR COUNTRY, and FOR KEEPING ALL AMERICANS SAFE HERE in THE USA and AROUND THE WORLD.

    To those families who have lost a loved one my words can not express my deepest smpthathy (sp) for your loss. That was/is The ULTIMATE sacrifice and although hardly ever spoken on the USA NEWS there are families like mine who truly understand, appreciate, and who would like to express our words from our hearts to yours on this HOLIDAY WEEKEND OF REMEMBRENCE.


  3. Blgspc says:

    So, True.
    As Americans we enjoy many freedoms HOWEVER, those liberties come at a COST. Our military- men and women- have sacrificed their time, their health and some have made the ultimate sacrifice-their lives- for the Liberties we so love. It’s on our Independence Day and so many other holidays that I think of all of those brave and noble men and women. I also think of the families of our soldiers, for they too make sacrifices. Sadly, some families will never see their beloved soldier again.


  4. Mara DeRose says:

    Hi Dr Phil:

    It was a day of prayer and a day of being inside. The heat was oppressive so it was an indoor day.

    It’s a great county and proud to live here in the good old USA. I appreciate all those who have given up so much to make my life easier and that of my family. I thank each of those Service men and women who give of themselves hour by hour, day by day and that’s all year round. I also would like to THANK those men and women who put their lives on the line in the Police Dept, Fire Dept. Hospital staffing, EMT’s Volunteers all around this great country who make it easier to celebrate the 4th of July and everyday of life.

    Now if only my daughter could find a job. With TWO Master’s Degrees in Education and no job prospects due to job hiring Freeze here in New York State. I don’t want to seem unthankful…but it’s hard to watch a “talent” go to waste when one could be helping so many of the children in the state. I wonder what the new graduates are doing to find work!!!!

  5. Julz says:

    I appreciate the sacrifice people make, but I wish Americans would stop pretending they are good and everyone else evil. We only need to see kids with blown off limbs and the UXOs (unexploded ordinances) in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Afghanistan to remember that innocent civilians in poor countries are still feeling the effects of American error to this day.

  6. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones in Iraq or Afghanistan. On two of the last four July Fourths, my son was in Iraq with the Army Reserves, so any celebrations were tainted with worry. Thankfully, he arrived home safe and sound to celebrate this Fourth of July.

    Even if they’re lucky enough not to suffer physical injury, the sacrifices these men and women make go way beyond active duty. Several times during his brief career and after business school, my son has had to drop everything in order to fulfill his Army Reserve obligations. Meanwhile, his friends were getting established in their careers.

    Now, at 33 years old, my son is trying again to resume civilian life and pursue his dreams. His friends are marrying and having children.

    He’s not complaining. But I know it means a lot on the rare occasion when anyone expresses gratitude or respect for his service to his country.

  7. vince says:

    i can not even begin to amagine what our men and women are going through every single moment that they are over on foregin soil fighting to stay alive while i only am able to sit at home with my family knowing my home is safe beacouse of the sacrafice these young men and women are making in the name of God,america and freedom, i do not know any words that can possibly express the true thanks i have in my heart while i know thear lives are in constant danger while mine is not, i pray in jesus name all of these young souls all come home and be allowed to enjoy this freedom i have beacouse of thear many unselfesh actions of thear daily lives living on a battle field so far away from thear loved ones,and i ask aGod to keep them safe from all harm for the rest of thear lives,so they may grow old with thear soul mate here at home rasing thear children,and having the many joyful moments being a mom or dad gives all of us, and i want them to know i sit here feeling shame in my heart beacouse i am safe and free while they live in danger every moment there over thear away from thear home land of the United States Of America, that they are keeping free for all. God bless every man and woman in all branches of our nations armed services, i am sorry i can not think of a better way to show my love to all of those who serve, beacouse like i said thear are no words to equal what they give for me to live free.

  8. Joan Brown says:

    Thank you for honoring the young men and women who sacrifice their lives for our country! Our son has missed many holidays and family events, but most of all the daily life of his little girl and wife. Our hearts have a missing piece everyday while he is gone. It’s been a long three years. We are very proud of him and hope to see more information to help with PTSD and the other issues that our family is now supporting each other through. Every story is unique and can help encourage others.

  9. Janet says:

    Everyday my thoughts and prayers are with our military and their families. I live in Jacksonville Florida a very military town and whenever I see one of our finest I make sure they know I appreciate what they do. If I am driving in my car I give a salute and a shout out. I also tell the husbands or wives of military personal how much I appreciate them taking care of them so they can take care of us. The looks on the faces of these people when you let them know you care and appreciate them is priceless. It makes my day! God Bless and protect our troops!

  10. Nickie K says:

    God Bless all of our U.S. Military 4 it is Only by your Sacrafice that our Country is called The Land Of The Free & The Home of The Brave…About 2-3 days before Memorial Day my sons,best~friends/Brother~age 38 was killed over in Iraq so sad..Some of Our Troops I just heard on the Local News from Parkersburg,wv,are coming home on Monday ,I can’t wait to go and cheer them on,tell the Welcome Home,and maybe get to shake their hands and say “Thank You”,4 what you do do make Our Country Safe,and and take lots of pics. :)

  11. Nickie K says:

    I wanted 2 give a Shout Out 2 My Brother~In~Law,Retired,Commander Barry Brockway,for all the years you spent in the Navy and Thanks 4 your Service..We Love You..
    Love Your~Sister~In~Law,

  12. Sheree Mayo says:

    I know this is kind of late, but I am a Navy wife and very proud to be one. I am 22 years old and my husband and I have been married for 2 years. Out of that two years we have spent 14 months apart. The time that we have spent together has been amazing and I am so proud of my husband. He has been deployed 2 times. He just reenlisted and we are now sationed over in Rota, Spain. For the first time I actually feel like I am married. My husband got 3 years of shore duty meaning he wont be deployed again until he reenlists. I feel like I not only got my husband back, but my best friend. He truely is my hero and I love him with all my heart. Although being a Navy Wife is hard it is certainl well worth it. All the deployments, hellos and goodbyes, tears, sleepless nights, missed aniversary and holidays, when my sailor gets home and I hug him for the first time in months it makes everything worth it. I tell my husband that I would follow him anywhere and I mean that. I am a proud Navy Wife :)

  13. tish says:

    sorry Dr phil, I dont believe in war. South Africans generally think that America is war happy. In today’s age we can ‘talk’ as you do. And if we want to run another country or kill for oil, then I feel sorry for those who believe otherwise.
    Zimbabwe is run by a despot, We dont see America coming to the civilians rescue.
    We are not stupid, and Ive travelled America extensively, love NY, been there several times, but I also love my country more despite its flaws. we live beautifully, and if we can get a handle on ‘crime’ yes.. like most other countries, maybe ours a little more, then our country is heaven on earth. War…NO! I will not send my sons to fight with other humans. globally we have criminals doing that. Life is already too complicated to add to it. Politicians can go fight and send their sons. Fortunately it wont be many. regards tish

  14. FosterBoys says:

    Did you hear how the US military has admitted to incorrectly diagnosing thousands of troops in order to discharge them without benefits?


    Unfortunately, my PTSD was incurred in the war-zone of my HOME prior to my enlisting. But at least I feel exonerated from their military assessment.

  15. roni says:

    beautifull to see that picture!!Exiting

  16. bobbie says:

    As a mother of 4 boys 2 who served in Air Force in Vietnam I as so many others hate war.As a country that is thought to be a christian nation I have felt the need to defend this beautiful country of ours. We have been so blessed in many ways,but, we have also protected and fought for those who needed our help. My problem is not seeing us as a nation taking care of our brave men properly who have protected us and given life and limb.Having been to the VA hospitals on many ocassions I really think we could do more for our Guys who come home maimed,and with many who have mental disturbances that need attention and their families. If we really cut the budget properly we could take care of our own and many other problems.

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