As I write this, the morning rain outside my window is pounding everything in its path. The creek running alongside my house is beginning to flood my front yard and strong winds force huge pines to bow. The sky is a purplish gray. I’m cold.
I find myself wishing for a sunny day, feeling down only because of the weather.
That’s when I notice the date.
How selfish and spoiled I am. Here I sit, completely protected from the elements, writing on a computer, when thousands of United States Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, are carrying out their duties despite the weather. I watch the rain. The wind has changed course and is now slamming bullets of water into my windows, yet I am still safe and dry.
I can’t imagine sleeping on desert floors in 150 degree weather as sand granules burrow their way into every cell of my body and mortar rounds hum through the night somewhere above me. Nor could I imagine running through jungles with snakes and snipers ready to kill me.
I can’t imagine flying a jet with a MIG on my tail, or being aboard a ship as huge waves crash against the hull and pelt my face with salt water and soak my clothes, all while an enemy sub aims to blow me up.
I can’t imagine fast-roping from a Blackhawk Helicopter into a barren, war-torn village as men, women, and children fire their A-K 47’s at me.
I can’t imagine being part of a four-man special ops team, dropped off in the black of night a mile away from my target, swimming in shark infested waters only then to crawl through dense tropical forest to infiltrate terrorists’ camps.
I can’t imagine going through all of that and then Americans, the people I so proudly swore to protect and to defend, treat me as a leper when I return.
Hollywood makes fun of me. Stupid actors—who have no clue what I do and what I stand for—publicly denigrate me yet portray me on the big screen. Politicians use me as pawns. The media calls me a killer, a murderer. Protesters show up at my buddies’ funerals.
But you know what? I don’t have to imagine any of that. The United States Warrior has already done it for me . . . for real. These men and women do this day after day because they see the bigger picture. They understand the threat.
U.S. Soldiers are the epitome of servant hood. They love this country and we should love them.
The storm has intensified outside but suddenly, I feel warm, safe.
Thank God for you Veterans.
We honor you this November 11.