I spent these last two weeks helping soldiers prepare for deployment. Namely, my job as a Chaplain Candidate was to ensure that the religious preference of the soldier was the same as what we had in the system. Between seeing over a hundred soldiers each day and just my general encounters with the soldiers at the range or on the way to eat, I was once again struck by the caliber of our soldiers.
I made a trip out to the grenade range and talked with a group of soldiers sitting out in the hot and humid Oklahoma afternoon sun. They had found some shade underneath a vehicle and had proceeded to prop, sit, or lay down in whatever fashion they could wearing full body armor. The comment that I kept hearing over and over was, “Yeah, we’re hot, but it’s gonna be hotter over there.” Instead of complaining about the stifling heat, the lack of shade, or the headache inducing grenade concussion these soldiers made the best of an uncomfortable situation.
I know the military can often be difficult with its countless rules and regulations and endless piles of paperwork, but when you actually get to spend time with the men and women who make up the ranks of our military you start to realize how amazing these people are.
The soldiers that I spent the last two weeks with are preparing to spend a large amount of time away from family, friends, safety, and comfort. They are putting their lives on hold so that you can live your life without interruption. They are sacrificing their comfort so that you don’t have to. Perhaps the most amazing and most telling thing is that they are doing it with a positive attitude and optimistic outlook.
The American public is able to live in such comfort and security because there are a select few in this country willing to give up such niceties, put on a uniform, and throw themselves between those who wish to destroy this country and the people of America. They do this day after day, no matter what the public thinks of them, even if they are never thanked, and even if the political climate has changed; they are still there doing their job quietly, professionally, and persistently.