As we close today, July 4th 2014, the celebration of our Nations Independence from England, I hope that many of you have remember those that gave many things during that time. I also hope that many of you have given thanks to those who have and still do today, give of their time and put their lives on the line to ensure the continuation of our freedom.
As a Marine and one who gave of my time and as one who saw things and did things that one should never have to do in life I want to say one thing, I AM NO HERO. Many of my fellow Marines and brothers in green would tell you the same. Yes, we are soldiers and warriors of past and of present but very few of us can be considered HERO’S by definition.
For me when I went in I did so not expecting to see or do anything special and my main purpose was to get out on my own and to pay my own way through college. It was 1987 for God’s sake, the end of the Cold War. Well as we, all know how life decides different paths than we as mere mortals plan. I did what I was called to do when I was called to do it and traveled to places I only dreamed of and then stepped into hell a few times while I was there. That was my job, our job and our duty and what we each, past and present, signed up to do if ever called upon. However, many of us are NOT HERO’S but Warrior’s.
A hero is defined as, “a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities and has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal”. Yes, many that are serving and have served are close by definition but for me, to earn the designation as hero one has to perform the heroic act.
Each day we see stories of soldier’s that went above and beyond all of what a Warrior entails. They have jumped on grenades to save others, they have jumped in the line of fire to protect an Afghan child and took the rounds to his chest and still lived. They have run into a blazing firefight to retrieve the body of a fallen brother. I have even seen medics risk life, limb and even taken a bullet to retrieve and save the life of an enemy, that not 5 minutes before was shooting as us. For them a life is a life.
To me, these are the hero’s as well as the ones that have come home a body part less than when they left. However, I am sure that even a few of them would say they were no hero and that they were just doing their jobs.
Therefore, when we are thanking our hero’s , I for one am talking to those that gave a life for another, for those that I spoke of above that went above and beyond and faced insurmountable odds, many making it back and many not. Those to me will always be my hero.
For the rest of us, call us warriors, call us soldiers and thank us for our service if you must but again, it was our and my pleasure to serve and above all, it was an honor to do so.Many of us are no longer in uniform but we still serve to this day.
Happy Independence Day and may God bless each of you as well as my BROTHERS IN ARMS, wherever you may be! SEMPER FI!!!