The Real Truth of Life As a Warrior
I wrote this on August 9 and really didn’t have the guts to post this until now. The tragedy that was that helicopter falling from the sky, loaded with Navy SEALs struck us all who live in Hampton Roads. Writing this then seemed cruel, but having read it this morning I think it is the best way to honor these men. I love these men that I’ve never met, because we all shouldered a burden that a vast majority of our nation will never know: putting our lives on the line to preserve the idea and ideals of America. God bless you boys. We’ll never forget.
The machine rolls on. Men suffer. Men die. The machine rolls on. Children remember. Women cry. The machine rolls on. Organs hum. Taps echoes. The machine rolls on.
Small towns all over America are mourning the deaths of our beloved SEALs. There are countless stories, both personal and anectdotal, being shared with news and blog elements. It is how we honor our fallen, with reverence and a solemn dignity. But what about the SEALs that were left behind?
Fact is that SEALs have little opportunity, and will, to stand still to remember and pay homage, because the operations tempo never stops. The machine that is America military is rigged to grind on. Grind on past the tears and feelings and emotions. I dare say their replacements are already enroute, and the mission if slowed at all, was only hindered by the amount of time it took to get the next helicopter to the war theater.
It may sound heartless and cruel, but I’d bet that not one tear was shed in that desert on Sunday. These men are the finest of the professional warriors that America has to offer. That is not to say that they aren’t affected emotionally, but those men have learned and perfected the art of compartmentalization. The feelings are there, but they’re buried below the surface beneath the importance of duty and mission. There will be time for tears and remembering later. At a watering-hole. In a church. Maybe even on your couch. You’ll probably never even know they are mourning or why they’re hurting, because these men are used to existing in the margins and shadows. For now though, there are still bullets flying and bombs exploding.
Sunday’s lost are why we should all be proud to fly our flag. Knowing that there are boys, fathers, sons who put it all on the line, often times at the detriment of their own personal goals and lives, makes me feel safe. They deserve our tears because they were and are the best of us. They were men. They were warriors in the strictest sense of the word. They were heros who didn’t hesitate to die because they loved us so.