Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, became visibly emotional in a press briefing Thursday as she read a 10-year-old letter that was recently sent to President Donald Trump from Joseph, a man from Tennessee.
Joseph’s son is an Air Force master sergeant who is on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Joseph wrote the letter to his son, who was serving in Iraq at the time, to remind him of what was at stake.
“Please don’t lose sight of your purpose,” Joseph wrote. “You’re the only hope and glimmer of light for the good, innocent men, women and children that you are protecting. This may be hard for you to see or understand.
“Most people know that all of you are there because you volunteered to be there. Your actions and dedication are seen by people throughout the world as without a doubt the most heroic action of any person which can be made.
“You and the soldiers standing next to you from all of the other countries are the pride of not only the nations they represent, but every individual that yearns to be free,” the letter finished. “Stand tall, my son, and be steadfast. For it is you who are the defender of freedom.”
That was beautiful. No wonder Sanders became emotional.
“We owe it to the servicemen and women like the master sergeant who have fought in our name in Afghanistan for 17 years and to the families who have watched them go to secure an honorable and lasting outcome to this conflict,” Sanders said afterward.
She was right. Even though many, on both the right and left, have gotten upset about the president’s just-announced decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, Joseph’s poignant words make it clear why we can’t give up after we’ve already come this far.
Concluding the briefing, Sanders mentioned that Joseph told Trump he’d been a police officer for 30 years and that he had sent the letter to President Trump in the hopes that he’d read it.
“I’m glad to say that he did earlier today,” she said.
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