Request for publication on July 25th

To the editor:

Three weeks ago, we celebrated the 4th of July.

Twelve days ago (July 13th), my brother was killed in action in Afghanistan.

Today (July 25th) will be his memorial service at Fort Bragg, and I am asking you to print a letter my brother wrote that shares the perspective of the Soldier who is serving in harm's way.

This letter was originally published by the Clayton News Daily (Jonesboro, Ga.) on July 4th, 2007.

Sincerely,

Brent Young

Editor's Note: Master Sgt. Mitch Young's 2007 letter is reprinted below:

To the editor:

Today is July 4th, our country's Independence Day, and 231 years ago, our forefathers won this for all to enjoy.

Today, our country has more freedoms and wealth than any other in the world. We have all of our freedoms granted to us by the U.S. Constitution. This document sets the standards for all Americans to be guaranteed their freedoms and rights.

Of all the freedoms and rights granted to each American, it is not the news reporter or politician, who ensures that each American enjoys these rights. But it is the American Service Member (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.) This is the person who every American should be thanking every day, for what they do.

Even though less than 1 percent of the American population serves in the military, it is that sacrifice made by an individual to help protect and guarantee these freedoms. While enjoying the day's festivals celebrating our country's birth, take the time and effort to thank a veteran, or a current service member for their sacrifice in helping to protect your freedom.

If you are unable to thank a vet, say thanks to either the parents or the spouse of a vet, because they are the ones, who worry the most, while the service member is away, protecting your freedoms.

MASTER SGT. MITCH YOUNG

B Company, 1st Battalion,

7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)

Killed in action in Afghanistan on July 13, 2008