Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some call him a soldier, I just call him my friend

The dictionary says, “A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary.  The majority of cognates of the word "soldier" that exist in other languages have a meaning that embraces both commissioned and non-commissioned officers in national land forces."
Sorry, but I do not like that definition. My definition would say something to the effect– a soldier is a son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, uncle, aunt, grandparent or a friend.

Just the other day I ask an injured soldier about his injuries and then I asked him: “Would you do it again?” There response is always, “You, dang right I would!!!!”  I get the same response 99.9% of the time. They do it for their fellow man and for the freedoms many people just don’t take for granted.

 At first I called them soldiers; now we have developed a friendship that will last forever and we call each other friend! Last weekend one young man, a USMC - special forces/friend, asked me and Kim (my wife) for our phone numbers and email address. I asked him, “Why do you want that?” He said, “I want to stay in touch with you and let you know how I am doing.” And then he went on to say, “I want to come back and visit once my rehab is completed and meet Kim’s son (Stephen, who is a USMC currently serving in Afghanistan).” See our new friends had a story to tell us. He was shot in the jaw during a battle, somewhere; see we don’t talk about foreign countries and different locations around the world with these guys. We talked about what really happened; not what the newspaper tells must of you. Our new friend suffered a minor stroke before he could get to an advanced medical care unit; due to blood loss. During this traumatic event, one of his friends “trached” him in the battlefield and this allowed my friend to breath and survive from his injuries. While my friend, at times, had a tough time talking about this event you could see the passion in his eyes. He refuses to take “no” as an answer and he will win in this game called life! I am thankful my new friend got too spent sometime this weekend with Kim and me. See last weekend has changed our life!
See this past weekend I the opportunity to met some new friends and do some work for Operation One Voice (www.operationonevoice.org). Some people like meeting celebrities and athlete’s; but I really like meeting soldiers. These guys do not entertain, hit homeruns or throw long touchdown passes they fight for our freedoms every day. I had the opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in professional sports this past week at an event benefitting these soldiers and Operation One Voice. I saw these grown men, who are professional athletes look directly into each one of these injured soldiers eyes and listen intently to their stories. Trust me we changed some celebrities and athlete’s lives this weekend; forever! 
Did you know our military is one of the largest, best trained and most respected fighting forces in the world? Unlike all the armies of many countries around the world, our military is composed entirely of volunteers. Volunteers that allow us to read what we want to, speak and write about anything we want to without consequences. That’s right they volunteer!


When was the last time you stopped and thanked one of my friends when you past by them in the airport or at a local store? Try it, because it will change your life forever…..

Til next time….tgb out!

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