Our sons and daughters have always risen to the occasion by leaving the peace and tranquility of the Sonoma Valley to defend our freedom. The citizens of our local community have served on the battlefields of all our country's wars and conflicts, from the American Revolution to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Many of them never returned. Excerpts from the letters they wrote home perhaps best reflect the strong love for those left behind and for the country they so bravely served. The words also vividly describe the horror and the human sacrifice of war, and the powerful bonds created among diverse people serving together under extreme conditions.