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True Heroes

I had planned on writing about a “$10,000` race horse I won several years ago, but Will stopped by this afternoon and we visited for a while. He played this song for me. I couldn’t help it, I started crying. He misted up a bit.

There are a lot of things going on in my life right now. I will land on my feet or possibly my head, but in the end it will be all right. Perhaps fear of the unknown is part of the mood lately. Listening to this song has fed the fear. It’s like those minutes after a car wreck and the adrenalin drains. That is the weak time when fear steps in and tries to steal relief away.

This song was dedicated to the Red River 44 crew seen in this video. While there were separate services, this flight was for the combined remains that were in one casket. The seven friends died together and rest together for all eternity. The services.

We look at statistics and are numbed to the true meaning. The news seldom even reports these sacrifices anymore. The airways, instead, are filled with celebrities who had everything and gave nothing, yet overdosed on drugs. We hear about sports stars cheating on their families and cheating on their “therapy.” News broadcasters estimate how much will be lost in endorsement millions. Then there are the bad boys who cheat on spouses and their families, living a lie while they screw every porn star in the book and make a fool of the ones who truly loved them.

This is what sells news.

The sacrifices of real humans, real sacrifices, go unnoticed. Their families and friends know, but does anyone else realize the truth?

Tonight I think about Will. I thank God daily for my children and grandchildren and pray a shield of protection around them. Life is so fragile.

I asked Will earlier how the unit that replaced them was doing. Remember we had the big change in Rules Of Engagement while he was there. What had been a secure route was exchanged for a remote, unpatroled one. We are no longer concerned about what will best protect our soldiers and loved ones. Now, the focus is on playing nice so the world will love us and praise us for being fair.

Here’s a clue. The world doesn’t care. To most of them, we are bastards regardless of what we do.

The Taliban and Al Q certainly don’t care how nice we play. They know our rules as well as we do and use them against us to kill soldiers who are not allowed to engage until someone fires on them. Does anyone really think they respect us more?

No, it’s a joke. Our soldiers are walking targets.

Will’s unit suffered several IED strikes after they changed their routes, but by a miracle of God, no one died.

The unit that replaced them has been there seven months and lost six men.

As a parent, I might say thank God that wasn’t my son.

As a soldier’s parent, I say dear Lord that was someone’s son. That soldier was someone’s brother, sister, husband, wife, father or mother.

If you can find it in your heart, say a prayer for them tonight. Pray for those who volunteered to serve. Pray for our leaders.

Never forget those who have paid the ultimate price. They aren’t rock stars, or sex addicts, or dope addicts. They are the true heroes. The quiet heroes who might earn fifteen seconds on the news when they die as opposed to weeks and months of attention for screwing their lives up. They never asked for fame or attention. They just do their jobs and long to come home to their families. Some of them come home on the angel flight.

Never forget.

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