the meaning of courage: a soldier’s story

presentation_MEARNGI guess it should not surprise me that I’m thinking about death and dying today of all days the Fourth of July.  The vast majority of my family (including my mother) have served in the military at some point in their lives in fact if I had the capacity I’ve no doubt I’d be wearing somebody’s uniform by now myself. Don’t think that  desire comes  from anything as noble as a sense of  a patriotism that sentiment is the driving force of much better men and women than I.  Believe it or not my motivations were far more selfish.It was and still is (for reasons that should be obvious) a completely futile dream.  Countless soldiers have died in service to one branch of the military or another for far longer I have been living, for various reasons of their own but all soldiers will probably tell you that one of the reasons they’re doing this is to make sure that the next-generation can enjoy the same thing they have.

When I was nine years old my mother worked for the US military and one of her friends was shot.and not in the line of duty.he was sitting in a restaurant with his pregnant girlfriend eating lunch. That day a very unstable enlisted man walked in and shot up the place with a government issue rifle.  Fortunately for mom’s pregnant friend she escaped with a flesh wound.  The child was later born healthy and if I’m not mistaken should be almost 14 or 15 now. The only thing that young man has seen of his blood father is pictures. Faced with losing his wife to be and unborn child Wesley stepped between her and the loaded firearm. He was shot and died in her arms. I remember my parents attending his funeral  but I don’t remember realizing how he died until I was reading  details of the trial in the paper and saw his name in the casualty list.  I screamed for four hours straight.    Every now and again I think of how Wes died  and realize I don’t ever want to find out if I have that kind of courage. On the field of combat there is at least the possibility of rescue and treatment if you are wounded a lot of the time. This was a shot fired at or near point blank range from a military semi automatic rifle, he knew he wasn’t leaving.  I have been told many times that I am courageous, I smile and say thank you. I’m glad to offer people encouragement, but I am by no means courageous. I am , however, very proud to be able to say that within my lifetime I knew a man who was.


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