This is a little long, disjointed, and not that well thought out, but here it is anyway.
I don't know, I am always hesitant to talk about my military service. Seems to me that it is somewhat self-serving to talk about the things I've done, as if they are exceptional. I have been blessed to have the physical ability (rapidly diminishing with age), and intellect (barely) to serve in the US Army my entire adult life. I can't, in even the slightest way, begin to tell you all how proud I am to have done so - or how truly blessed by God that I am able to continue to serve.
I think the act of service itself, is what is commendable. There is nothing any one of us will ever do, that can be any MORE honorable than serving. But, those who have not served, through either their lack of qualifications (8 of 10 HS graduates today cannot enter the US Army due to physical/mental/conduct issues) or because of other life choices, don't necessarily have any less honor than those of us who serve in the military. I have as much respect for the folks who work, with either little pay, or as volunteers - with the physically or mentally disabled, or who work for the betterment of others at physical, financial, or personal risk in marginal places in the world. Those of us who serve could not do so without the support of those of you who do not - so, who should be commended? All of us? I think so.
While serving as an advisor with the Iraqi Army, I saw many heroic Iraqis who lived, served, and many who died - with no honor, praise, or monuments to their sacrifice. Yet their service and sacrifice is just as honorable as any of us being praised for our service on this forum. I don't know, maybe I'm still PTSDing it a little..
I'm very blessed to have a family, with the support of my best friend, my wife, for the past 19 years. The fact that they think I'm a pretty neat guy, in part because of my service, makes it all worth it. The greatest day of my entire life, the finest moment, was when I ran up the jet-way when I arrived home from Iraq - and I saw my beautiful wife and my three kids (all dressed up, with balloons in their hands, and jumping up and down)[I can barely read as I type as my eyes still well up thinking about it], hollering my name. How blessed am I to have a memory like this?
I told my son (who is in Army ROTC now), "how lucky can you be? To have a job your whole life that can make you cry, give you goosebumps, make you so proud that you quickly and clearly tell anyone what it is that you do? I'm a Soldier in the United States Army... God how I love it.
As of 18 Nov 2009 I will have 29 years, active, reserve, enlisted, commissioned. Currently a Brigade Commander in the Army Reserve. Been shot at, mortared, rocketed, VBIED'd - but only knocked down, never hit. Germany, US, Iraq, Kuwait - so far. Platoon Leader, Co Commander, Bn S3, Bn Commander, advisor, Bde Commander - so far. Thank all of YOU, all you Americans, for giving me the PRIVILEDGE to serve.
I'm stayin' until they make me leave..
"A knuckle draggin', prominent brow ridge, Combat Arms type.."
EnviousSolstice, Monsoon,6 CD changer, cruise, chrome wheels,XM,two-tone leather - and an Army logo sticker on the back..