April 24, 2006

The Military

The average age of the military man is 19 years.
He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who,
under normal circumstances is considered by society
as half man, half boy.
Not yet dry behind the ears,
not old enough to buy a beer,
but old enough to die for his country.
He never really cared much for
work and he would rather wax his own car
than wash his father's; but he has
never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate;
he was probably an average student,
pursued some form of sport activities,
drives a ten year old jalopy,
and has a steady girlfriend
who either broke up with him when he left,
or swears to be waiting when he returns from
half a world away.

He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop,
rap, jazz, country, swing and 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now
than when he was at home
because he is working or fighting
from before dawn to well after dusk.
He has some trouble spelling,
thus letter writing is a pain for him,
but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds
and reassemble it in less time in the dark.
He can recite to you the nomenclature
of a machine gun or grenade launcher
and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines
and can apply first aid like a professional.
He can march until he is told to stop
or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation,
but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.
He is self-sufficient.
He has two sets of fatigues:
he washes one and wears the other.
He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.
he sometimes forgets to brush his teeth,
but never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals,
mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you;
if you are hungry, his food.
He'll even split his ammunition with you
in the midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons
and weapons like they were his hands.
He can save your life - or take it,
because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian ,
draw half the pay
and still find ironic humor in it all.
He has seen more suffering
and death then he should have
in his short lifetime.

He has stood among dead bodies,
and helped to bury them.
He has wept in public and in private,
for friends who have fallen in combat
and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem
vibrate through his body while at rigid attention,
while tempering the burning desire to
'square-away' those around him
who haven't bothered to stand,
remove their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out,
far from home,
he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather,
and Great-grandfather,
he is paying the price for our freedom.
Beardless or not, he is not a boy.
He is the Canadian Fighting Man
that has kept this country free
for over 200 years.
He has asked nothing in return,
except our friendship and understanding.
Remember him always,
for he has earned our respect
and admiration with his blood.
And now we have placed women over there,
in danger, doing their part in this tradition
of fighting for Peace or going to War
when our nation calls us to do so.

As you go to bed tonight,
remember the following snapshot...
A short lull, a little shade
and a picture of loved ones in their helmets
Prayer wheel for our military ...
please don't break it. Please send this
on after a short prayer.

Prayer Wheel
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families
for the selfless acts they perform for us
in our time of need. Amen."

When you receive this,
please stop for a moment and say a prayer
for our ground troops in Afghanistan,
our sailors on ships, and airman in the air,
and for those on Peacekeeping
missions in other volitile
areas of our world.

Of all the gifts you could give a Soldier,
Sailor, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.

I can't break this one, sorry
This is a ribbon for soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

This was forwarded to me; please copy and forward it to others.


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