“the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
Today we celebrate those vigilant few that put their lives on the line (the ultimate sacrifice) to preserve freedom, both here and abroad.
Armed Forces Day is a relatively new holiday, as holidays go, but any opportunity for a free society to pay tribute and show gratitude for those on the wall, in the foxhole or on the front lines, should be cherished and exercised.
Swearing an oath to defend The Constitution, surrendering most of your freedoms and liberties, then placing yourself in harm’s way, anywhere around the world is not for everyone. “Duty” is not singular.
Yesterday I came across a story about an ex Marine who made good on a promise, a perfect segue for this post:
When Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach served as a dog handler in Afghanistan, he told the yellow lab who was his constant companion that he’d look her up when he returned home.
“I promised her if we made it out of alive, I’d do whatever it took to find her,” Gundlach said.
On Friday, he made good on that vow with help from some sentimental state officials in Iowa who know how to pull off a surprise.
No doubt my own military experience, that being an Army dog handler in Panama many moons ago allowed an instant affinity for and a familiarity with the plight of Sgt. Gundlach, the unbreakable bond between man and working dog.
It took the demolition of half the attic to retrieve these (I knew I had them somewhere):
My situation was a bit different in that I knew I was NOT going to make the Army a career, so when I left my canine partner continued his duties with another handler. But I could live to be 90, and never forget the good times we had in Panama.
I know there are quite a few regulars here that have served in some capacity, so step up and get some recognition. Start digging, find some old snapshot of your military days and post it for the group. Be proud of what you did, and show us the proof.
It seems like the military never gets a break. What with all the sex scandals going on, the suicides (ghastly) and the short shrift with delayed and shrinking benefits (oh, and they are still dying in Afghanistan, we need to put an end to that, pronto) except for an overgrown sense of honor or duty, your average currently serving soldier has little reward. But we can still applaud them, honor them, and never forget that they provide that blanket of freedom that keeps us warm at night.