Wednesday, October 14, 2009

 

Half Boy, All Man

1/2 Boy All man

The average age of the military man is 19 years.
He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who,
under normal circumstances is considered by
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind
the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old
enough to die for his country. He never really
cared much for work and he would rather wax
his own car than wash his father's, but he has
never collected unemployment either.


He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport
activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a
steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when
he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.


He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he
was at home because he is working or fighting
from before dawn to well after dusk. He has
trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him,
but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and
reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite
to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He has few comforts and will sleep where ever he can, when he can.

He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.


He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation,
but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.
He is self-sufficient.


He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never
to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend
his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you
are hungry,his food.

Sharing his MRE with an Iraqi child.
He'll even split his ammunition
with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons
and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.


He has wept in public and in private, for friends
who have fallen in combat and is unashamed..

He feels every note of the
National Anthem

vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those around him who haven't bothered to stand,
remove their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from
home, he defends their right to be disrespectful..

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy.

He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.
Veterans Day 2004 - World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor, Houston James, emotionally embracing Iraq War veteran, Marine Sgt. Mark Graunke, Jr., who lost a hand, leg, and eye when defusing a bomb in 2003.
He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
Comrades aid and encourage their wounded brother spilling his blood into the rocky soil of a foreign land.
And now we even have women over there in
danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.

As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. .
A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.


Prayer wheel for our military...

Prayer Wheel

Uplift our troops in loving care and prayers. Ask that they be protected as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and
say a prayer or offer positive thoughts for our ground troops in Afghanistan , sailors on ships, and airmen
in the air, and for those in Iraq , Afghanistan and all foreign countries.

Memorial Day - In Honor from Ava Lowrey on Vimeo.

This video is several years old but just as pertinent today. Only the casualty numbers in recent wars continue to escalate.


Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier,
Sailor, Coast Guardsman, Marine, Airman, or National Guardsman, prayer, support, and honor is the very best ones.

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