The image most of us see when we think of a soldier is one with a uniform and a gun in hand. We see an American Flag and a bald eagle in display. We hear in our mind gunshots and bombs; We think of tortured souls, and we envision many wounded beings and hear cries of pain and terror. We feel heartache for the loved ones we lost that accepted the oath of a soldier and made it their life mission to stand strong for our country and our freedoms. For some they see horrible creatures who attack and kill others for our country’s greed, a disgusting thought at best but some believe it to be truth.
What we fail to see other than the imagery of a standing tall and with the utmost strength uniform with a gun, is the person behind the uniform, the human being standing before you. The human life standing on a wall for you and me, yielding his or her body as a shield to protect all of us.
What we forget and choose not to see is the small infant this soldier once was, the miracle that was once being formed in his or her mother’s womb, the child that brought forth the glow on their mother and fathers face everyday as they grew.
The brother or sister that shared an entire lifetime with other siblings and created bonds meant to last the rest of their lives. The husband or Wife that shares a love with someone that has no bounds and made a vow to be with their spouse in sickness and in health, until death do they part, and knew that his or her death may come sooner than wanted because of their sworn duty to protect your life, my life, and the lives of the rest of our nation. The father or mother who are meant to care, provide, and protect their children until they are fully grown and to love them unconditionally until the day the good lord carries them home. The loyal friend who walked with them in every storm and shared their every challenge in life as they grew up together and built lives along side of each other.
Do you see this when you envision the image of a soldier? Do you see a human being who made a choice to give their life for you? Do you see a human being who chooses to stand on a wall and put their life on the line to protect your freedoms and your life so that you can enjoy the family you have and the life that you live?
Do you see the person who cries along side the innocent bystanders who are screaming in terror or pain and aches for their safety and peace? Do you see the soldier that makes every attempt to save an innocent life, or the life of a fellow soldier wounded in battle and then feels the gut-wrenching pain of watching them let go and know that they must carry on in order to save their own life?
Do you know of the man or woman that was blessed to make it through the battles only to come home to a tortured mind and missing limbs? Do you feel the pain of the mentally scarred and physically battered life that screams out at night, while broke out in a full sweat, as their dreams are filled with the anguish of the battles they endured, so you could sleep peacefully at night?
Do you hear the cries of the family members, the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children who lost their loved one for the sake of your loved one and you? Do you feel their pain?
I hope you feel as I do, the sense of honor, love, respect and appreciation for these men and women and for the decisions they made to take the brunt of the fight for our freedoms on their shoulders, to provide their bodies as shields on the line between the enemy and the rest of us.
I hope that you see a hero and a man or woman of honor and dignity, and I hope that you feel a sense of pride and loyalty to these men and women for the job that they do. I hope you understand what they are giving up for you and me.
While you are drinking your Starbucks, shopping for your new clothes, and screaming about your rights in this country, remember who afforded you those rights, think about what they are doing at this very moment while you are living your peaceful life.
When you are staring into the eyes of your loved ones, think about how lucky you are to know that they are safe and free because someone out there stands tall and strong to protect their safety and their freedom. Would you be willing to accept your loved one’s choice to put their life on the line for others? How would you sleep at night then? Peacefully?
I am forever thankful for the soldier and the job that they do. I will always find honor and dignity in the choice they have made. I will never stop appreciating those lives that stand for my freedoms and my families lives. I continue to hold the utmost respect for the soldier and the challenges they endure for each and everyone of us to sleep peacefully at night and walk freely throughout our day making our own rightful choices because they have our backs and never stop covering the ground and shielding our lives from danger. They fight to provide all of us with continued freedom and safety. What will you give them in return?
May God Continue to Bless each and everyone of the self-sacrificing beautiful men and woman that stand as soldiers today, that stood there yesterday and the many years before and the ones who will stand there tomorrow and the many years after. May God Bless the families that give their loved ones to protect ours. Each and everyone of you are hero’s and I pray for your peace and comfort always.
To all of the veterans and the active duty soldiers as well as the family members who sit by awaiting their return, Thank You for your service and your dedication as well as your humble self- sacrifice so that we can all live free!