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Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue

A Girl and Her Gun: Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue

I always struggle a bit when I am trying to speak about those in the military. I never want to sound trite or cliche, but I think it is worth my effort to try to say something that honors them.

When my husband first joined the Marines, The Gulf War had just ended. He was in boot camp when it started and it was over by the time he graduated.

Naively, we thought that would be it.

I was all of 22 and lived a fairly sheltered life in small town Iowa. I valued what those in the military did, but most of the folks I knew in the military were older men who had long since retired and I didn't think anyone in the current Armed Forces saw much danger.

Of course, now, I realize that much was being done, but truth be told, most of those in the service for a long time, didn't see much action.

I used to take my kids up to Walter Reed for appointments and it was mostly filled with other moms and their kids.

Now when we I go, it's hard to look in any directon without seeing a service member on crutches, missing his leg or in a wheelchair, or missing an arm.

Often times my kids sit and wait for hours for an appointment we made months earlier with their ENT because he got called off to surgery for a wounded soldier or Marine.

Our ENT, who is like family to us, once told us, he rarely sleeps any more because of the images that run through his mind. He hasn't seen combat, per se. He hasnt been to Iraq or Afghanastan, but he has seen plenty of the results of war.

His most vivid image is of the time, a neuro surgeon held up a young man's brain with his hands, so, our ENT, could get in there to do whatever he needed to do.

The Marine was missing the entire left side of his head.

Whatever luxury I once had to pretend the military was not all that dangerous a job, is no more and it hasn't been for a while now.

It is patently clear the sacrifices that are made, daily, on my behalf and on yours.

Some sacrifices are easily seen like the scars on their bodies or the missing limbs, or the empty chair at the dinner table, but many of the lasting impressions of combat are not so easiy seen.

The ones that keep them up at night. Those are harder to spot, but leave their mark equally as deep.

I would venture to say, the worst memories of my husband's life are from his time in combat.

Ironically, I would say that some of my husband's fondest memories are of his time in combat.

There is a bonding that occurs in that kind of environment that fosters a love and a courage and yes, even fun, that can not be understood by those who haven't been there.

It's a kind of sacrifice and commitment that inspires me to live a fuller life. One of humility and gratitude.

It often leaves me speechless, but today I want to say...

THANK YOU!

THANK you to all who have served and who are serving.

I wish you a wonderful Veteran's Day!! I pray that you feel appreciated and valued!

God Bless.

4 Comments:

At November 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM , Blogger Missy~ said...

Awesome! And *THANK YOU* for your sacrifice as a wife for supporting your husband as he serves/ed our country! We appreciate you as well as him!

 
At November 10, 2011 at 7:57 PM , Blogger JD said...

Pass on "Birthday wishes" from Lima and me.

Semper Fi.

 
At November 11, 2011 at 5:09 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thank you both and same to you!

 
At January 19, 2012 at 8:48 AM , Blogger Bob Johnson said...

Semper Fidelis, Gotta admit that this post got to me

 

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