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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bunt? Who the hell bunts anymore?

I look at the fixation in our culture lately on the military. Being a career military guy, I can only tell you how much I appreciate the shift. I hear horror stories about how the Vietnam vets were treated. I remember the passive indifference that greeted me early in my career. I still do dread getting out of the car in my uniform though. The fact that I do not receive praise well is not the purpose of this blog though. The purpose is something similar but much harder for people to understand.

You see people seem to have this fixation and fascination with the ultimate sacrifice a  solider is willing to pony up. People talk about putting their life on the line to defend the life lifestyle that they have grown accustom to abusing. The risk alone draws more attention then the one question that you just don't ask. The whole line that was popular back in the early days of world war two has been resurrected with a greater fervor then ever before. Some young soldier talking to a girl on his way too boot camp and discussing his destiny with death. This has led to more babies being born out of wedlock in trailer parks then PBR.

The thing people ignore though is the millions of other lessor sacrifices that make of the life of a modern military member. You see cops and firefighters run as much, if not more risk of death and dismemberment then your average Joe. The true sacrifice that people seem to forget are the little things that make life so cushy for the civilian population. Sunday afternoons of football are hard to catch in dark corners of the third world. You try ordering hot wings if you are lucky enough to catch a game.

Its those little things that add up that ALL Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen give up. It is those small things that really show you the character and resolve that these men and women have. I know more then a few guys that missed the birth of their first child. I know more then one proud parent that had to see first steps over skype, if they saw them at all. Birthday parties that some dead beat parents blow off are dearly missed. It is all those first moments, or once in a life time moments of mundane life that are lost to service.

These are things that you can't send in a care package. These are those moments that so many take for granted, that add up. You can only die once, even if it is for your country, but you can miss birthdays, funerals, graduations, and reunions in the dozens. You miss moments that you can never get back, all for the sake of others. You let those you care for enjoy those moments, even if they do not understand that true weight of sacrifice.

I am not saying stop supporting those service members with care packages, letters, thank yous, boob shots on Knockers for the Troops, or what ever else you want to do, what I am saying is understand that they will never have those moments back. Understand that they sacrifice those moments so you can enjoy them. So enjoy them, and the next time you blow off a nieces birthday party, a friends wedding, or some cheesy  family gathering, think of that guy in some isolated base in some shit pit that would love to be there right now.

Share those moments. That is a great way to understand the sacrifice that all military members offer to you. Tell you children bed time stories. Video their moments of youtube glory, and live them. They give theirs up, so you don't have too. Respect that. 

1 comment:

  1. These are the things that are the hardest to sacrifice in my opinion. I Missed my daughters first birthday and her first steps. I will never have those back but it was the sacrifice I made willingly in my service. Huah!