Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cousin Mario

Cousin Mario (he's the one on the right)

Amid the sands of Afghanistan
Our cousin Mario (married to Cousin Jill) has finally returned from Afghanistan today. I can't say enough about Mario's service to our country, and the bravery and skill with which he has served. Originally in a Reserve group that trained medical military personnel from a base in San Antonio, once Mario got overseas he quickly found himself actively hunting Taliban soldiers. Yes, with real bullets and everything.

I get the feeling that out in the city, military people are somehow looked down upon. Oh, not overtly or even consciously, not any more than most people would think of themselves as racist, for example. The unspoken assumption seems to be that only those with no other options go into the service, that soldiers are all uneducated slobs whose only recourse in life is to go into the military, that they're redneck idiots who like to kill for the fun of killing.

Out in the country we know that's not true. I think that's one reason country music is so often patriotic and pro-soldier, because we see up close what good, honest, smart, caring, competent, kind-hearted people are serving in the Armed Forces.

People like Mario.

Mario's a graduate of Texas Tech University who volunteered for the Army and has had a distinguished career, both militarily and in the civilian world. He referees college basketball games in addition to holding a very well-paying job in the pharmaceutical industry. He's funny, smart, loves his wife and his San Antonio Spurs very much, and is deserving of the utmost respect and thanks for being willing to fight when his country asked him.

No matter what your political position on the war, or the President, or Michael Moore or Ann Coulter, each of us should salute people like Mario who serve with honor and distinction. We wouldn't have the right to be Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, dog lover or hater, without the dedication of our Marines, soldiers, airmen, and sailors.

Thank you, Mario.


Anonymous said...

okay...so I'm confused...you said we shouldn't assume all soldiers are uneducated...but then you said he went to Texas Tech....

The Cow Whisperer said...

God bless Mario and his brothers-in-arms! (Oh, and John Wayne.)

Welcome Home soldier!

TexasAnnie said...

As a family, we are very, very proud of Mario. He's our family hero! He never once complained about his assignment and if he was ever scared, no one ever knew about it. We love you, Mario!

TexasAnnie said...

OKay but can I say that I hate to even see Ann Coulter's name on my husband's blog? She is too evil to even poke fun of. Evil, evil woman.

Allura said...

A thanks to your cousin and all his fellow soldiers. Glad he's home.

Jill Phenix Avila said...

Many many thanks for posting this Jeffrey! Mario and I are very glad he is at home. You both supported us during this whole "thing" Thank you and we love you both too!
p.s. he likes the spurs but he loves the Rockets.. I have been working on that for a while.. ;)