Sure all had, at least in most regards, volunteered to be where they were now in the midst of. Walking out and feeling the blast of hot air from the giant sandbox hitting their full battle ready dressed bodies. All of those that have served have given some, but now some were about to give it all. While many others would witness firsthand what the price of war truly is. No matter what your MOS (job) you had a vital part in, not only the “mission”, but also the lives of the other brave souls around you. Some did the minimal, others lackluster, while others excelled. There is still the one, or perhaps more, that went above and beyond their job to do all they could for the mission and for those around them. We had seen glimpses of their being so stellar in training missions and way back in the day to day operations before the war, but now would become their true time to shine. They did it not to receive some medal they could hang on their uniform. Which some received, but many more did not. They did it because it seemed as if they were there and set apart from the others for some special reasoning beyond my comprehension.
There are those that falsely assume the glory few deserve. There are those that ride the coattails of others. There are those that abuse the system intended to take care of those that took care of us so well they have to pay for it the rest of their lives.
I choose to remember the ones that could have stayed inside the wire, but chose not to.
I choose to remember the ones that volunteered to go on all the different types of missions.
I choose to remember the ones that pushed their bodies to the limit, and sometimes beyond, just to try and accomplish the task at hand.
I choose to remember the ones that could have stayed on main base, but instead went out to the FOB (forward operating base) just to ensure their equipment, vehicles, and fellow soldiers were being cared for as best as possible.
I choose to remember the ones that could have taken R & R (rest and relaxation) to go see their families a lot earlier, but sacrificed the opportunity for that of a fellow soldier that needed it more.
I choose to remember the ones that could always seem to dig a little deeper and find more than the average “intestinal fortitude” to do the best job they could in the circumstances that surrounded them.
I choose to remember the ones that I will always remember because I have considered it an honor to serve beside them.