the person i most admire... there are so many people in my life who i admire for a myriad of reasons, but this particular person is quite near and dear to my heart.
the american soldier
*for: my family, my husband, and military friends; thanks for it all*
i have laughed and cried, been exhausted, mustered-up courage out of nowhere, fought alongside, been a first responder when they were hurt, been a friend, a comrade, loved, lost, and have been the american soldier. i've thrown a few back, made sure they got home, spent countless hours on a roof watching tracers, explored saddam's palaces, sweat until i was dry & then sweat some more, watched as they were promoted, and demoted, and sometimes promoted again. i've seen them at their best, worst, toughest, weakest, and when they are homesick. i've been there when they were sick as a dog, hopped up on 'rip its' and what we all look like after 16+ hour days for months on the streets of iraq. they play pranks, acquire equipment "magically", and hit the imaginary wall that makes you feel as if there's nothing left in you. i know what they look like when they can't sleep for days on end, after walking to fill the lack of the sleep and they need comfort you don't know how to give. they spend days, months, years away from family for a measly paycheck and sometimes not even a "thank-you" when they get home.
there is no specific "type" when you ask who the american soldier is- they are from all walks of life, and generally an unassuming bunch; chances are you know a few and just don't realize it. they are from the northeast, midwest, cali and the south. from cities and the 'burbs and the farms that feed us. high school grads, doctors, lawyers, computer 'geeks', and beauty queens.
as much as they are different, there is one tie that binds, and ultimately sets them apart from the 'civilians'~ they stepped up and took an oath to protect & defend the constitution of the united states of america against all enemies; foreign and domestic~ so you and your fellow americans can speak your mind, raise your children, enjoy your country, and sleep peaceably at night.
you don't have to go out and find a soldier to thank them, or put a yellow ribbon on the tree in your front yard to show your support, just take a moment to think about the soldiers who have lived in america and loved their country so much they chose to fight for you, and especially those who gave their lives for YOU.