February 11, 2013

Real Heroes

There isn't anything one can actually add to this story; I know I can only comment on it. It's a bit lengthy but if you take time to read anything this week, please read this. Movies, television, the 'web', water cooler stories all regale us with tales of derring-do, swashbucklers and secret agents who always hit their mark, survive all manner of explosions, rarely take a hit themselves, and come out the vaunted hero in the end. This tale sheds light on the gritty reality of real heroes...and one real hero in particular. Our political, entertainment, sports, and even business worlds are filled to overflowing with chest-thumping, attention seeking, wealth motivated egoists. This story talks about the type of men who go into harm's way for all the right reasons, do their job in the shadows, who shun the limelight, and for 'thanks' get a nice plaque and a pat on the back on their way out the door. This story speaks to the real cost of such service, a cost born not only by the man himself, but by his family as well. True professionalism in service to one's country calls upon people to sacrifice, to share great burdens others are unable or unwilling to shoulder, and to do what must be done even when...especially when...such acts go unnoticed, unacknowledged, and unrewarded in ways most people seek and expect. Yes, among those who share such service there is a bond and an understanding no one not of that circle can truly appreciate. But even with that type of brotherhood buoying the spirit, the true warrior must continue to should a great burden largely alone. It's the nature of the beast. This story reminds me of a observation always attributed to George Orwell: “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” Though he didn't actually say this, it makes a very important point. We are blessed that people like The Shooter are willing and able to undertake the tasks they do on our behalf. I just wish we did as good a job taking care of them as they do of us. I pray that his days ahead bring him and his family the peace he seeks. 

"The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed," By Phil Bronstein, Esquire Magazine

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