Who are our “Heroes?”

I got this emailed to my by A Soldier’s Perspective . Once you read it you’ll see why I too had to pass it on.


“This was sent to me via email and I can’t NOT share it with you all. This poem was written by Mike Gardner around Memorial Day 2000. You are free to send or share it as you see fit.

The honor roll goes back farther than we can remember, it contains names we will never know…

I wasn’t there when the American Colonial Army stood winter guard in the snows of Valley Forge wearing bloody rags for boots as they fought for my freedom.

I wasn’t there in the war of 1812.

I wasn’t in the trenches when the German’s seared the lungs of young American men with mustard gas as they fought for my freedom in World War One.

I wasn’t at Pearl Harbor when a single Japanese bomb detonated a million pounds of black powder on the Arizona and instantaneously killed over one thousand American sailors preparing to defend my freedom against the Japanese and the Nazis.

I didn’t see the bullet riddled bodies of the Americans who died defending my freedom in Korea.

I only vaguely remember the nightly news clips of American soldiers as they carried out our government’s orders in the jungles and swamps and tunnels of Vietnam.

I have never been with a family who lost a son or a daughter defending Kuwait, Afghanistan, or Iraq.

I wasn’t there with any of them when they suffered as prisoners of war in any of these wars.

I have never been with a family whose child died in a peace time military training exercise.

Not every one of our veterans saw combat. Some were clerks, cooks, mechanics, machinists. Some served during war time, some served during peace time, some serve in peace today, ready for battle tomorrow. Today they prepare for the ongoing war against terrorists. Some gave their lives, some suffered wounds, some saw things that no human should ever have to see, and many did things that no human should ever have to do. And all gave their daily life, for a period of time, while many more gave their time to work in the industries that sustained our veterans.

Not all of those who have protected my freedom were even in the military. Some of them were the firemen, policemen, and paramedics who risked their lives each day, rushing in where most of us would never tread. Some are the doctors and nurses who treat the wounded, and go home and cry for them. Some of them were “just” passengers on commercial airline flights who, with faith in Christ, calmly chose to fight, and die if necessary, rather than let Flight 93 be used as a weapon against their country and their fellow citizens.

When I tried to join the US Air Force, my application was turned down for medical reasons.

Because others were, and will be there, I am privileged to continue to live in the greatest nation the world has ever known and to enjoy the greatest freedoms that any people have ever known.

The honor roll stretches forward to times, and places, and names we will never know…

And so I thank you, veteran, whoever you are, and wherever you are, whenever your service.

Thank you Vet. Thanks Dad. Today, I remember WHY I am free, and I thank you.

I know that when you were asked, at the right time, like Christ, you gave your life for me.”

Go over to A Soldiers Perspective and read the great posts he has over there. On this particular post there was a comment written about the above post. It, too, was beautifully written. To make sure you visit CJ’s site I am only posting an excerpt:

“America is a unique country in that we aren’t defined by our government or institutions. America is a community…”we the people”…who have covenanted with each other to stand for certain values and give of ourselves for those common dreams and goals.”

Go to CJ’s blog and read the entire post. Then read the rest of this great comment. Between this post and the comments posted, I have goose bumps all over. I always feel hypocritical whenever anyone thanks me for my service.

I was never in combat. I just maintained audio-visual equipment for three years at the “Training Aides Library” for the schools at Quantico. Prior to that I went to Ground Radio Repair School and Radio Fundamentals School in San Diego for a year or there abouts. This post makes even me feel a little prouder of my service, limited though it was.

Many thanks to Mike Gardner for what you have written!


~ by devildog6771 on February 15, 2007.

2 Responses to “Who are our “Heroes?””

  1. Thank you Tracy. I appreciate that.

  2. I saw this over at ASP. Very moving. Very powerful and I agree wholeheartedly.

    Thank you, Devildog, for your service!! My dad served right around the time you did. He never saw combat, but I’m no less proud of his service.

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