Heroes who live among us
“There are two kinds of heroes. Heroes who shine in the face of great adversity, who perform an amazing feat in a difficult situation. And heroes who live among us, who do their work unceremoniously, unnoticed by many of us, but who make a difference in the lives of others.” —Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Yesterday was Veteran’s Day, and some may have a holiday today in honor of those who have served in the military. Yudhoyono’s quote seemed appropriate for this day, because most troops will never be singled out for special honor or widespread acclaim. Yet the life of our nation depends on their faithfulness to duty, their willingness to show up day after day for whatever demands are placed upon them to secure the overall mission of the armed forces.
Through 30 years of Jeff’s military career, I came to have a deep respect for the discipline, humility and tenacity of the women and men who are willing to take on a way of life requiring sacrifices that are largely unseen and sometimes misunderstood. Our veterans are everyday people with families, obligations, interests, hopes and dreams, but they have made the commitment to set all of these aside at a moment’s notice and put themselves in harm’s way, if necessary, to protect all of us.
Even in peace time, or when not deployed to a war zone, soldiers, sailors and airmen participate in readiness exercises that sometimes require reporting to duty in the middle of the night, or being called without notice to undisclosed locations for unspecified lengths of time. Service members are on call 24/7, and even when they take leave (civilians call it a vacation) they have to furnish detailed information where they can be reached at any time. In a very real sense, they are always on duty, never far from their professional responsibilities and obligations.
Whether or not you have friends or family in the armed forces, our veterans have almost certainly made a difference in your life. I hope you will join me today in remembering them with gratitude and honor.