In his reply to the post about the killings in Afghanistan Cal decided to present the notion that liberal are more supportive of our troops than conservatives. A pointless argument. In my opinion, individual liberals are as likely as individual conservatives to support our troops. However, liberal politicians and liberal institutions and activist groups do not support our troops.
I wrote this in December 2010. My neighbor has since returned from his fifth tour. He is well, working and enjoying his family. With a bit of luck I’ll be making him Margaritas on his pontoon boat this summer. Hopefully he won’t be called upon to serve again.
When you live next door to a hero…
My next door neighbor is a bona-fide hero. About a year ago, an IDE in Afghanistan sheared his skull off leaving a four-inch diameter slice of his brain exposed. The gravity of his injury saved his life. The lost chunk of his skull was so large that his brain had room to swell. He spent months at Walter Reed. He has a plate in his skull now, it’s either plastic or ceramic. Despite all that he remained himself.
Soon he’s going back. I don’t wish to say exactly when because I would not want to provide any information about deployments. He doesn’t have to go back. He could stay home with his family. He feels, well he would say that he knows, that he has knowledge that might keep some of his guys alive. So he’s going back for his fifth tour.
There is only one word for a man who leaves a four-inch slice of his skull and scalp on foreign soil. Who spends months in and out of hospitals. More months in rehabilitation. Who having served more than his commitment, declines to end his service and when his unit is scheduled to go back into combat, goes with them, leaving his wife and children. There is only one word for a man, or woman, like that. The word is HEROIC.
When I was much younger, I was accepted to one of our nations military academies. I suffered an injury that rendered me unable to accept the appointment. Despite the fact that, were I able, I would serve in our military, I hate war. I hate even wars that I feel are necessary and just. My feelings don’t really matter. I am too old to serve, and I couldn’t pass the physical were I younger. My inability to serve my nation has always been a gap in my life. Could I, after suffering a nearly fatal injury as he has, simply go back into combat? As much as I would like to think so, I doubt it.
Yet he goes. Not without careful thought, but without question. Without a pause. He goes because he knows he must. He must because of who he is. May he come back to his family and his friends. Heroes walk among us, and I am privileged to know one and call him friend.
God bless him and all our fellow citizens who serve in harm’s way that we may live safe. You truly are the very best of us.