by Susan Lamos When you hear the word soldier does it bring a vision to your mind? Do you have someone you call, “my soldier?” It might be your grandfather Chet, whose wrinkled voice on rare occasion will offer the story of crawling on his belly with General McArthur’s Army during WWII. He might tell of the blaring momenthe realized those buddies who flanked his body there in the dirt were gone forever.
Your soldier might be Dick, your father perhaps, who left his unopened college books to battle on hill 812 in Korea. He moves tall through his life, telling many he meets, “Dog Company, 2nd battalion, 5th regiment…1st Marine Division sir,” as he rubs at the phantom pain in an empty shirt sleeve.
Perhaps your eyes see his brother Bob who 10 years post Korea was driven to continue his brother’s service. This war is Viet Nam. As a Navy Corpsman he aided many wounded. Knowing after he came home that there were more bodies in the fields awaiting rescue, he returned for a valiant second tour…this time going closer from the pilot’s seat of an Army helicopter.
Is your soldier Steve, a 44 yr. old Marine, who served his country in the Middle East? His intelligence work took him through many heart wrenching years both in his conscious psyche and meditating soul. Steve walked out the front door of his California home one February night. All contact ceased.
You might find your soldier in the face of someone at a Veterans Day parade. He could be the one standing next to you, who has quietly slipped away from his family to pay tribute with fellow comrades. Many who line the streets come alone with their story marinating in their hearts. A wiped tear from a lone serviceman, a tight but treasured uniform worn in the cavalcade or an American Legion hat carefully donned by an amputee in a chair, they are all there.
On November 11th our country remembers, honors and pays homage to our men and women in uniform. Search for your personal reason to support our troops and leaders today. Find it in those around you, knowing their sacrifices continue to give us our freedoms. Try and understand their passion and love of “Old Glory,” as she passes by. To some who have traveled further from the agonies in their mind than to where the original battle was fought…that beautiful flag stands more than their own life…it represents yours.