"We know that in tough times cynicism is just another way to give up, and in the military we consider cynicism or giving up simply as forms of cowardice. No matter how bad any situation, cynicism has no positive impact. Watching the news, you might notice that cynicism and victimhood often seem to go hand-in-hand, but not for veterans. People who have faced no harsh trials seem to fall into that mode, unaware of what it indicates when taking refuge from responsibility for their actions. This is an area where your example can help our society rediscover its courage and its optimism….
Now having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world and having worked with others of many cultures, having worked in one of the most diverse teams on earth—that of the U.S. military—and having faced down grim circumstances without losing our sense of humor or moral balance under conditions where war’s realities scrape away civilization’s veneer, we have learned that nothing can stop our spirit unless we ignore Lincoln’s call to our better angels….
I am reminded of Gen. William Sherman’s words when bidding farewell to his army in 1865: “As in war you have been good soldiers, so in peace you will make good citizens.”