'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

13 January 2012

Finding Their New Normal

That's what they call it. Our wounded veterans. Those missing limbs but dedicated to living their lives without self pity, remorse or bitterness. I've met a few and come away with a new appreciation for the warrior spirit, hell the human spirit, that these men display. Every day.

Witness then these men. They are the very essence of what it means to be indomitable. They cannot be dismayed. They cannot be defeated. They will not be victims. They are men. Proud athletes who carry honorable wounds and scars and devices.

Softball. So simple a thing and yet fraught with all things American. Rugged individualism. The will to strive and overcome. The renouncement of fate as the determiner of their lives. The sure and certain knowledge that their lives will be what they make of them.

I am proud to call myself a veteran and to count such men among my brothers, though I am unworthy. They are heroes though I doubt very much they would accept that acclaim no matter how deserving. How much more heroes they are than politicians and movie stars and the degenerate who occupy and demand handouts and pity and the lifeblood of their fellows.

If I am to choose who to admire and who to deny my choice is easily made and easily seen. They wear the sacrifices they have made upon their bodies, wrought in steel and aluminum and honor. And though some will pity them and tsk an aside to another 'how awful it is and those poor men' I will not. I will keep them always in my heart and see them as they are. Tall and fair and noble and proud. My soldiers, my countrymen, my brothers.

May they live forever.



innominatus said...

I know what you mean. I go to church with this guy. He lost his leg above the knee in Iraq. Barely enough left to hook the prosthesis to. Then, on the artificial leg, he re-qualified and deployed to Afghanistan. While they kept him on mostly administrative type stuff, he did get out there and mix it up a few times.

Now he's retired from the Corps, and considering competing in the paralympics as a snowboarder. He has thrown out the first pitch at a Padres game, been on the Hugh Hewitt show, and hung out with Capt. Sullenburger (the guy who safely landed the airliner in the Hudson). He thinks it is kinda screwy that people make a big deal out of him.

"Dude! People admire the hell out of you! It's OK!"

Blue said...

Amen. Amen.

And the vast majority can never understand...

Six said...

That guy is awesome Inno. The people we meet.

And never will Blue.