A lot can be said about a soldier-accolades regarding their sacrifice, their honor, courage, service, and bravery. Some steer the other direction-calling them cowards, accusing them of blindly following orders and never questioning the intent or purpose of their mission.
I say it is never that simple. A soldier’s life, his or her choices–a soldier’s sense of duty–is not simple. It is never black and white. No matter one’s opinion of our country’s servicemen and women, they must be supported, must be applauded, and when they come home from the treachery we call war, they must be given every chance to recover, to regain peace and reintegrate into the life that may now be so foreign to them.
This is one of my favorite photographs that I own. I don’t know who took it, but the man in it is a soldier I dearly love. My father sacrificed more than most can comprehend to stand for something he believed in. He fought for the defenseless and for the downtrodden. He risked his life to free a people from someone who would do them harm. I don’t care what anyone’s politics are–my father is an honorable man for doing what he believed was for the greater good.
Dad, I love you and on this tragic day, I thank you and all our soldiers, our first responders, and their families for their service.