The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired,
tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society
as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a
beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for
work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has
never collected unemployment either.
He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student,pursued some form of sport activities,
drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend who either broke up with him when he left,or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away.
He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop, rap, jazz, country, swing and 155mm
He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.
He has some trouble spelling,thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.
He has two sets of fatigues:he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. he sometimes forgets to brush his eeth,but never to clean his rifle.
He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, Because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian , draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all.
He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime. He has stood among dead bodies, and helped to bury them. He has wept in public and in private,for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.
He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention,while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.
In an odd twist, day in and day out,
far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.
Beardless or not, he is not a boy.
He is the Canadian and American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.
He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
Remember him always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
And now we have placed women over there, in danger, doing their part in this tradition of fighting for Peace or going to War when our nations calls us to do so.
As you go to bed tonight, remember the following snapshot.. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us
in our time of need. Amen."
say a prayer
for our ground troops in Afghanistan,
our sailors on ships, and airman in the air,and for those on Peacekeeping missions in other volatile areas of our world.
Of all the gifts you could give a Soldier, Sailor, or Airman, respect is the very best one.
Am traveling in Central America now. One should be grateful for the freedoms that we enjoy and for our prosperity, which is ours should be choose to pursue it.
Freedom of speech and the universal freedom to ignore what we don?t like.
Thank you for posting this Wee. My Father was a liaison officer in WWII, a like experience to the movie Band of Brothers. My brother was a Marine in Vietnam and came back alive )he enlisted after my cousin was killed..the first time I saw my Mother cry). Another brother in the long grey line. All dreamt of home while away.
Our home, our freedoms, our incredible quality of life...thank you for reminding us to be grateful and that it is not ?them? it is men and women, our sisters, brothers, neighbors enlisted and those people need our support.
Wee that was great. you seem to have a true understanding of the life of a soldier. I'd just like to agree that respect is one greatest gift to give a soldiers, second only to love.
Unfortunately, history has shown that, with exception to veterans day parades our soldiers don't recieve the respect that they deserve once out of uniform, unless thier dead. Many of our troops come home and can't find employment some end up homeless and the list of grievances goes on and on.
Please pray that we return to the days when protecting our country counted towards employment in the private sector as much as it did in the city, state, county, and federal employment sectors. I urge anyone who receives an application from a former service member to realize that a soldier no matter what his duties learns more than killing. He learns accountability, teamwork,dignity, honor, commitment, courage, and attention to detail. All of these attributes make him the best applicant for just about any profession because he'll give it his all and perform with pride
beautynbrains4u write: But he/she is not old enough to buy alcohol in the US! Ironic.
There is a good organization, Adopt a Soldier. They will provide you with a name of a soldier for letter writing and to send parcels if you choose.
Great post Wee. We might not support a war, but we should always support our soldiers.
I don't think any of the troops are here so I'll say thank you both on their behalf. The support and prayers are both needed and appreciated by all of them. When I went in the Army in 1970 there wasn't too much support for us or the war. There are many orginazations that support individual soldiers as well as a specific unit. I encourage everyone to take part in one of those programs. I also urge everyone to support the USO. They do much more for the troops than the Red Cross and they don't pay their executives six figure saleries. There is nothing better to a lonesome soldier than a smiling face and a warm welcome home. The USO provides this and so much more. Please support them.