Hero is defines as “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” As a soldier, upon my return from Iraq, people would use the word hero to define us. “You guys are heroes!” Every soldier that I have ever known, hated to be called that. Sure, there were those in our midst that enjoyed the praise, but by and large most of us hated the attention. Why? Because we only went and did what we had to do. To us it was no big deal. It was just another day at the office.
This morning, I watched a video that was posted by Chase Utley. In the video, a soldier comes in and orders coffee. The counter person gives him his coffee for no charge. A man sitting at the bar watches the scene unfold. As the soldier moves to the front of the restaurant a child stops him and asks for a photo. The man at the counter turns his head and watches the scene. The man at the bar pulls his sleeve up and reveals an Airborne tattoo. The boy and his mother comes up to the bar and the boy asks, “Are you a hero too?” That is as far as I made it.
I don’t consider myself a hero. During my military service I have had the pleasure to serve beside some. Friends of mine such as Kevin C, Rhodey, and Thornton gave their life in that hellacious sandbox and never came home to their families. Vietnam veterans who came home and was ridiculed, spit upon and labeled baby killers. People like SFC F, whose mind had seen too much, and could not bear the strain. These people are heroes. Without their sacrifice, our lives would be drastically different.
To all who bear the scars of war, to those fighting now and in the future, you have my undying gratitude. Because of your sacrifice, America still stands. May God bless you all.
P.S. Names have been shortened and added to, so that the families can be protected. May we never forget their sacrifice.