Wearing the uniform of our country


I know that a few of the people that I’ve worked with have worn the uniform of our country and I know that most if not all of us know and love a veteran or active service member. I spoke to one friend who discharged recently. He did one tour in Afghanistan and one tour in Iraq. We sat for a long time over two days. He has been feeling some depression and is finding it difficult after only four years to return to civilian life. He did note to me how he sees that I, and many others, label our service members as heroes. He said one of the things that greatly bothers him is that he doesn’t feel what he did was heroic. He explained to me how he would see parents sheltering their children, unarmed and unprotected people rushing out to help each other as well as some of the soldiers. I remember one thing he said was that he had a squad of soldiers, with some of the best body armor, some of the best weapons, And some of the best training in the world. He doesn’t feel like a hero. He knew that I did 10 years in the fire service. He asked if there were times that I felt like a hero. I knew exactly, at that point, what he was conveying. I had a department of very well trained firefighters, the best protective gear, radios, and more. When we saved a life or property it felt really good. It didn’t feel heroic. I have asked him to reach out to this group and I am checking in with him at least once every day. War is an atrocity. It is one thing to lose a servicemember by the gun of the enemy. It is even more of an atrocity to lose a servicemember by their own weapon.


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