Hernan Udata

To all the courageous American service men and women around the world—Greetings Hello, My name Hernan Udata, a proud citizen of the United States and the director of the Udata Foundation, a special association created by my family in the spring of 2005. The Udata Foundation is a non-profit Corporation dedicated to honoring those who gave their lives in America’s war on terror. Its purpose is to promote a national awareness of the great sacrifice made, not only by American soldiers, but also by their families and especially their children. To this end, the Foundation has established the “Remember the Fallen” project and created a special college scholarship fund for the children of soldiers who died defending liberty and the freedoms we cherish so much. At this time I would like to share some personal thoughts regarding those who stand at the ready, defending our great nation. Today, courageous Americans in foreign lands find themselves fighting what just might be the greatest threat to freedom our Nation has ever faced. The threat of terrorism is real, perpetrated by a real enemy and withstood by real heroes—YOU are those heroes. But you are not alone. Millions of Americans stand with you in this noble quest. A quest to make our nation, and the world a safer place—a freer place. In this brief video I have the honor to salute your heroic efforts and to bring a promise from your American family. To the Brave Guardians of Freedom We Offer Our Thanks and Pledge Our Support! While some attempt to divide our country in this time of trial, it is important for you to know that we stand as one with you. One in hope that you will return home safe and secure. One in our love of freedom that has been paid for with your great sacrifice.

One in our commitment to defending the liberty that makes our nation so special.

It is true that that Americans may express their unity and support in different ways. But it is undeniable that it is done. And their support is real Some may display flags, others may offer quiet meditations and heart felt prayers Others still may send cards and Emails to soldiers they don’t even know America is a caring nation—one that since 911 may have a greater appreciation for those who serve than ever before And I can absolutely assure you that each of you resides in a special place in the mind and heart of a grateful nation—the one you so honorably protect. I know that your job is not pleasant. It is one often filled with uncertainty, and loneliness. It is in those moments that I encourage you to reflect on better things at home, where hope is real and love is true. Where freedom is not just a distant dream I also know that when evil preys on Freedom, Liberty’s voice is strong and resolute. Its guardians stand as knights, valiant and true, prepared to fight, willing to die, but never willing to run. That is you my dear friends. You are those knights. You are the courageous men and women who stand between freedom and those who would attempt to destroy it. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you to hear me say that that our great nation is blessed with the finest military in human history; However its greatness is not in its might or power, it is in its Character! You are a reflection of that character. Even the way you wage war is unique. American soldiers do not fight against what they hate, they fight for what they Love!

For this cause you willingly go to distant lands, you even surrender your Freedom for a season, so your countrymen will never have to surrender theirs. As our Nation ponders a lasting tribute where two towers once stood our hearts must also never forget the magnificent acts of bravery that left their mark on that day. (9/11). And continue to leave that mark. In truth, our Nation is not about buildings, it is about the enduring principle of sacrifice. This is what makes you marvelous men and women so precious. For in truth, you do not seek accolades, yours is not the pursuit of fame and recognition, You measure your success by lives saved and Liberties preserved. Thankfully, your service is a light that can not be extinguished by any act of evil, perpetrated by enemies foreign or domestic. As for the American citizen, we too have a responsibility. We must be willing to commit our lives to the cause of freedom. We must be willing to proclaim, without shame, our love of country and our genuine thankfulness for the blessings God has showered down upon us. We must see terrorism as a real threat. And we must be willing to fight it with all our courage and all our strength. We must also be willing to promise that our Troops will never be alone. But how can we do this? What can we do to express our support for those who serve this great land and its Freedoms? I believe each American owes it to the cause of Liberty, to proclaim that we too are prepared to defend this Nation and everything it stands for. To defend our Homeland and its Freedom, means more than just saying it, it means that each of us, who truly loves this country, is prepared to make a special Promise, a sacred oath, to both ourselves and to our National Family.

That Promise declares that we too will lay down our lives in order to preserve what makes this land so special. To understand why one would be willing to sacrifice everything in defense of Liberty, we must understand what Liberty really is. Consider for a moment just some of the precious freedoms that are a part of the American experience; As Americans, we have the freedom to learn and discover. As Americans, we have the freedom to dream and explore. As Americans, we can be the advocate of a cause as well as the voice of descent. As citizens of this great country we act out freedom every day. These acts can be great and small; simple or complex. They can be expressed by young and old, rich and poor, strong and weak; Americans share the same values; we play by the same rules, and with the deepest devotion we follow a common code of personal conduct. Defending Freedom means protecting the innocence of our children and the dignity of our elderly. It means playing hard, but always playing fair This is what we will fight for! Whether it is our work or our worship, our play or our discovery, whether it is spending time with family and friends, or spending moments in quiet reflection, our lives have been graciously comforted by our Liberties and to be sure those Liberties have never come cheap. They have been paid for, with the precious blood of our Nation’s finest men and women. We are in Solidarity with them, but not only them. We also pledge our support to all who serve. Armed Services, Fire and Rescue and Law Enforcement. These brave servants have dedicated their lives to secure our well-being and we must be willing to express our gratitude for that.

Since the beginning of the war on terror, over thirty four hundred Americans have given their lives in defense of our freedom-a freedom that distinguishes the United States from every nation in history However, I am concerned that we may not realize the true scope of that sacrifice, for it is not only fallen soldiers that have suffered but also those who were closest to them. Consider their young children whose lives have been permanently altered by this great act of gallantry. And think of the sacrifice they will continue to make because of the loss of a father or mother in some distant land. Finally, Dear Guardians of freedom, I know that war is ugly. I know the suffering can be great and the heartache immeasurable. But I also know that through the thick gloom of the present, you will see the brightness of the future as the sun in heaven. And when you return you will you will see tears. But these will not be tears of pain and dispair; rather they will be the tears of gratitude and joy. They will be our tears and our joy. And I pledge that your story will never be forgotten. I will tell that story along with scores of Americans like me. I will be one voice in a chorus that proclaims an anthem of eternal gratitude for what you have done, what you do, and what you will continue to do. I will be one soldier in a great army of Americans that will fight for you to receive all that you so richly deserve. Whether it is medical attention when you return, or the benefits that will help you live out the American dream, my voice will be your voice. And it will never be silenced. It will be my cause, as a man who knows first hand how precious the liberties you protect are, to make sure you will always be remembered with a thankful heart. In closing, I want you to know that you are loved. And that your fight is America’s fight. And fight we will. Whether it be in our schools to keep you sacrifice in the minds of our children. Or in our legislatures to keep your sacrifice in the minds of our elected officials. We will fight. And like you, we will prevail

This is what each of us owes you, a Promise, that we too, Will Defend our Homeland, our Freedom, so help us God!