Saturday, December 1, 2007
I am reading a few books right now. It seems to be reflective of my life that I am in the middle of lots of different things and can't seem to complete one at a time like normal people.
One of the books I am reading is called Lone Survivor. It was written by a former NAVY SEAL Team 10 member and sole survivor of Operation Redwing, where..."On June 28, 2005, four Navy Seals, pinned down in a firefight, radioed for help. A Chinook helicopter, carrying 16 service members, responded but was shot down. All members of the rescue team and three of four Seals on the ground died. Marcus Luttrell alone survived."
It is an amazing read because of the bravery,against all odds, that is described. It is an incredibly compelling picture of men, time and time again, laying down their lives for their brother, their teammate.
The book also describes the uber-intense training that Navy SEALS endure to prepare for such a mission and I can only shudder at the thought of doing any of it myself.
About 20 years ago my only brother entered this same program. He endured the training, Hell Week, drown proofing, prisoner of war training, sleep deprivation, and temperatures so cold he developed, among others, visible muscles in his jaw from shivering. He is an accomplished (I'm sure he'd have a better word for it) sniper, and has jumped out of airplanes enough times that he could do it in his sleep. I hope he doesn't, but he could. He completed what I could not even imagine because of his conviction of conscious and the desire to do what few would dare.
He's a total stud, and possibly the funniest person I know. Obviously, he got the athletic prowess in the family. He doesn't talk about all he's accomplished unless pressed. He received the Bronze Star for his heroism in combat.
He completed a tour in Iraq and brought his platoon home without a single casualty. I remember the intense pressure he felt having the responsibility of bringing these men safely back to their families.
Whatever you believe about the War in Iraq, remember that there are men and women, some fresh out of high school, many with families, putting themselves in harms way to defend our right to have an opinion.
One of my favorite bloggers is here and she has an address for some gentlemen and women who would love some Christmas wishes from home, and a little beef jerky. I was at Old Navy the other day and there was a Marine in uniform standing in line. I watched several people walk up to him, shake his hand and thank him for his service. I can't tell you the difference in his countenance. He was genuinely touched by this simple word of appreciation. Take a moment this season to reach out to our soldiers oversees and stateside.
I'm so proud of you big, a.k.a. way older, bro and am so thankful for you and your great wife and boys! Thank you for being one of thousands that would respond to the question of "why" with this beautiful answer.
I'm also thankful that we don't live in the same house any more and you can't tell me that the bottom of the pool smells like strawberries and convince me to go down and smell it and then I almost drown.
Just to be clear, I fell for that little gem not once but twice. He must have gotten the brawn and the brains.