Eric Swanson: My son stands watch tonight: "My son stands watch tonight as July 4th sees its final hours in Baghdad.
The fireworks he has seen today are not symbolic--they are the 'bombs bursting in air.' He has seen the 'rocket's red glare.'
The youthful days of backyard barbecues and sitting on a blanket at the golfcourse looking with other innocents into the Colorado sky have been replaced with the soldiers reality of peering into the Baghdad night.
Because he is awake we sleep in peace.
His celebration of freedom will have to wait. One day he will return again to warm summer evenings with his wife by his side and his children at his feet. They will lie on their backs gazing into the sky watching the fireworks. And perhaps his mind will think back to this July 4th in Iraq, when he was setting the captives free.
He stands watch tonight to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of people he will never meet and for their sons and daughters yet to be born.
He stands watch tonight for ideals too important to let die...so he puts his own life on the line to preserve and protect them.
My son stands watch tonight.
If I could I'd take this watch for you so you could be home for a few hours and lie on your trampoline with your wife in your back yard and talk about your dreams together. But for now all we can say is thanks...for standing watch tonight."
As my friend Cody Banks did last July 4, so this year the watch was kept by Jeff Swanson.
Thank you for your service. May your tribe increase.