MONO posted this is the off topic forum, but I feel it should be placed front and center. In his own words........
Gen. George S. Patton said something once, to the effect of "I've always wanted to lead a group of desperate men, in a desperate battle, against overwhelming odds". I believe his intent was, while under duress, to bring out the very best warrior in a man, and bask in the glory of his victory. As a child when I heard it, it impressed me, and I wanted to emulate it. I wanted to be one of those men. Now I'm not so sure I feel that way.
Patton was right; the very best is brought out of men, under duress. But there is no glory to be had. There is no real victory. The cost and sacrifice of Patton's romantic notion outweighs all else.
What a shame it is that this society teaches people to worship Jay-Z, when there are men like Shughart, Gordon, Kyle, and Luttrel. I have been humbled, wondering how I would hold up under the circumstances those men endured. I have trouble leaving my wife and children to go to work in the morning. I can't imagine being half a world away, knowing I will never see them again, and doing it voluntarily.
I am in awe of the bravery, the heroism, the honor, and the un-thinkable sacrifice of it all.
What a shame that the majority of Americans go about their trivial little lives, expecting their freedom and safety, yet never lifting a finger to have it, nor having any concept of why they have it. America needs to do more to educate people the real meaning of Memorial Day, and the value of those it represents.
This society pays millions of dollars to men who play basketball, baseball and football. We honor them as gods. US Military gets a medal pinned on, a stripe on the sleeve, and a "Thanks, now go home and pay your bills like everyone else." If only the men who come home from fighting a war could be given the same respect, money, and accolades as some college kid who kicks a winning field goal.
What an unbelievable injustice.
From being with my military friends, I come away with a new perspective on a great many things. I have a new definition of what a hero is, and a new understanding of the cost of being one. I carry around a strange mixture of both sadness and pride.
Sadness for the death and the sorrow, the pain and the sacrifice.
Pride, for being reminded of exactly what makes America great. The men and women who stand tall in the face of unyielding horror. Men who forsake their own fears and needs to save the man next to them. Men who risk their own lives, simply to not leave someone behind.
My deepest respect and gratitude to all veterans, that because of their sacrifices, my children will sleep peacefully and safely tonight in a free nation.
MONOLITHMember Since 26 Feb 2007
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