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This Thanksgiving, conservatives — and all Americans — should be grateful for the heritage of the American warrior. The men and women who, while we debate ideas and count votes, keep their eye — and their rifle sights — on America’s most vicious enemies. From Washington to Teddy to Ike to Petraeus, our warriors pursue victory, at great personal sacrifice, even when facing grim prospects, mighty enemies, and waning support; and it’s incumbent upon us to maintain the warrior ethos that served these Americans, and all of us, well.

The liberties they fought (and fight) for are distinctly American blessings; and as conservatives, we are wise to remember our unique American responsibility to preserve them. I once heard a friend boast, “the Republican Party is the lynch-pin of the free world.” Wrong. I would modify to say “the American conservative is the lynch-pin of the free world.” Conservatives — Republican and Democrat — should be grateful for the burden of maintaining, sustaining, and promoting the distinctly American ethos that says we shall “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” An awesome burden for which to be grateful.

— Lt. Pete Hegseth, who served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division from 2005 to 2006, is executive director of Vets for Freedom.


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