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Today’s heroes are overlooked by all of us, yes even you can walk right past one of this country’s heroes on the street and not even know it.


You might spot him if you happen to see the “high & tight” hair cut or perhaps his unit’s logo on the back of his t-shirt. But many do see these characteristics and simply at the most think “he’s in the military”. However what you do not know is the same warrior may be the recipient of a Bronze Star or Purple Heart while carrying out a courageous act. Many servicemembers who have either of the previously mentioned award won’t have to thump their chest and brag about it. Those that know the lad already know his character. Modest but confident enough to walk through fire if needed. Battle tested and oh yea he is only 20yrs old at best.

How to they become this way?

Being brave is something that comes from within. Is he scared? Yip but he continues anyway. Does he want to die? Nope, but he is willing to lay his life down for others. This is developed from within however with the combination of his military training and probably a big part of it comes from his morals, he goes where others do not desire to go. I have seen the most laid back silent Marine excel when the time comes. Running straight into gun fire and expose himself to save another wounded Marine. You see it happen and ask yourself, “what got into him all of a sudden” something just clicks at the time and when you find yourself in a fight or flight situation a split second decision will spell the results.

How do you know they are heroes?

First of all, your young American servicemembers are all brave heroes. Anytime you meet one you should simply say, thanks for your service. However, every once in awhile you will meet one who may or may not have been wounded and carry the lifelong scares with them. After you get to know these studs, then you will learn the extraordinary feats they have accomplished. They won’t brag about their accomplishments, they don’t have to but you will be able to tell there is something different with this guy. I see it time again when I run into active duty Marines who upon losing a leg from a previous IED attack and passed the Marine Corps PFT is serving again in Afghanistan. Or perhaps the cobra pilot who was shot down, trapped in his burning helo as his foot was mashed and caught in the wreckage and enemy small arms began to ping the aircraft. Watching his fingers melt from the heat he fended off what he could whith his small arms fire as the Marine QRF unit arrived. Only then attempting to rip his own leg off to free himself. These are the type of guys that go on living a quite life after their honorable service and most of the time, don’t get another word of thanks.

Your American heroes are all around us, you just have to open your eyes and see them and then simply say thanks. They will wear the scares I recommend we give them praise.

“Have some coffee and tell me your thoughts in the comments”

Another article on our heroes here

 

Comments

  1. Great article, Major. That’s what the average civilian can’t or won’t understand, the ability to sacrifice ones self for a buddy. The knowledge that while someone has your back, they know that you have theirs. Doing what has to be done, without question. That is the trait that is instilled in the minds of our brave men and women in uniform. Semper Fi.

  2. I have had many opportunities to hug and thank some of these honorable,courages men they are the most humble,respectfull you ever want to meet.I get a little emotional when I tell them thank and the response from them is always the same THANK YOU and I alwyas tell you and your family and all of our Troops are constantly in my prayers and I tell them because of GOD and you I’m free and sleep peacefully and get to live my life THANK YOU just never seems to be enough and they all say the same thing IT’S MORE THEN YOU’LL EVER KNOW.They are the best of the best.GOD BLESS THEM AND WATCH OVER THEM ALWAYS.

  3. I make it a point to thank the young soldiers I see around town, as well as the old ones who made the world safe for little girls like me to grow up in.

  4. Sometime only after these heros pass do we truly learn how special their sacrifice was – my brother-in-law was a copilot of a B-24 that was shot down over Ploesti. Reading the MACR, I learned that his aircraft attacked by 3 ME-109’s in wing-tip formation. The nose ball turret gunner was KIA, the 2 inboard engines were shot out, the wing was on fire and there was fire streaming from the bomb bay – they recoverd the aircraft long enough for the crew to bail out (he didn’t remember to the day he passed how), and spent the remainder of the war in a Romanian POW camp. I only learned of this after his passing, after I had talked to some Confederate Air Force pilots who gave me some B-24 Bomber Groups web sites to begin my search. He never talked about it, the only reference I ever heard him say (referring to his days as a POW) was “you’d be surprised what you will eat to stay alive”. Unfortunately another of the ‘Greatest Generation’ passed in silence about his sacrifice. I believe that the generation we have now in service is also deserving of that same title – I only hope their sacrifices will not go unheralded. As you say, time for a stogie…

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