That cliché hit home with me today when Alvin resident Sgt. James Michael Nolen (age 25) arrived home today after he was killed in Zabul province, Afghanistan on Sunday, Nov. 22.

Alvin is a small Texas town (by comparison to others) of about 20,000 people (or the amount that will answer when the census comes a calling). The same automated phone service that calls us in the evenings to tell us when it’s time to flee from hurricanes, or when the 4th of July fireworks display will be shown, called last night and asked city folks to show up in force to support the family of a fallen hero.

I apologize for the quality of this cell phone photo, but people turned out en mass in a brisk gulf coast afternoon and lined the route with people, flags, and tears. People; democrats or republicans, bikers, cowboys, hippies, and even illegal aliens (allegedly) walked to the hearse and paid their respects to James Nolen and family.

Whether you’re for keeping the fight in Afghanistan or bringing the troops home now, there is always the sacrifice. The POTUS says he understands the sacrifice and I hope his magic clock is right and all is well in 18 short months when he brings the troops home mission complete (or not). If not, was it worth the sacrifice of soldiers like this?

As I look to this Christmas season I will say a prayer for the Nolen Family and all American servicemen everywhere.

God bless the United States

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