Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Hero

In a slight break from the norm of this blog (if there is a "norm" to this blog), I wanted to share an experience I had recently on a flight out of Atlanta. Joining us on the flight were several Army Air Corps personnel, one of whom occupied the seat next to me. A pleasant fellow, I believe his name was Roger or Robert (I wish I'd thought to ask him for contact info).

Over the course of the flight we conversed off and on, and I learned that he had served for about 18 years now (meaning, I've realized in retrospect, we probably enlisted about the same time). He's now an officer, having completed OCS about 6 years ago; he was on his way home for a couple of weeks. I asked about rotation in the area, and he said it's been typically one year there, one year back in the states, for the last 9 years or so. (I don't think I've revealed any particularly sensitive info, and do not intend to do so; in fact, I've edited some info out of this post before publishing already, info that I still don't consider to be sensitive, but wanted to be as careful as I possibly can while still getting the point of the post out.)

He talked about how it is hard to get the point across (of why we are there; he used the term "illusionary war" - the soldiers mainly see violence, and the true impact of why we're doing what we're doing won't be seen for a while, not in the next year or the next, but maybe in ten; his and my children will see the benefit) to the troops on the ground, and I mentioned how it's probably harder to get the point across to the average American. He commented that the average American doesn't even know the first four amendments to the constitution; if he did, he would be much more likely to understand the reasons behind our involvement overseas. As long as Americans take for granted our freedom, our way of life, we'll not understand the necessity to defend it.

This soldier has a family. He has children that have spent half of the last decade with their father out of the country, a wife without her husband every other year. He has a daughter who was (at one time) 6 months old when he went away and was 15 months old, not knowing her father, when he returned. He is home for a couple of weeks, and will soon be returning to resume his duties in defense of our freedom, our way of life, yours and mine.

This soldier is a hero. An unsung, unthanked hero (I did offer my thanks and appreciation while sitting next to him on the plane). And certainly underpaid, as well (all of our military are generally underpaid, perhaps with the exception of those at the rank of general or higher). To our military, I wish to say thanks, and I will be diligent in my prayers for your protection.

1 comment:

Marie said...

thanks for the reminder to pray for our troops!