In recent weeks we have heard a lot of discussion concerning military heroism in the media. Many commentators have been bouncing back-and-forth the definition of â€œwhat is a hero?â€ and â€œdo military members qualify?â€ I do not want to mention those media types directly, but it really concerned me.
I think in or outside the military I would qualify anyone who commits themselves to the service of our country, as a Hero! What do you think? When I think of a Hero, I think of those who put on a military uniform each day. What about those who work 15 hours a day without a break and do not have a weekend or sometimes even a day off because there is a mission to accomplish? Maybe it would be those who have to leave their crying children, wife or parents on a pier or tarmac and be gone for months on end without the assurance of knowing if they will make it back home to see them again. Could it be those who miss birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, Thanksgiving, Christmas, cookouts and funerals? Maybe those who stand at attention every time the National Anthem is played when others remain seated? Would it be those who endure extreme heat, humidity, rain and cold in faraway places because this is their place of duty?
Would they consider those who try with all their strength to stand tall at the memorial ceremony of a fallen friend in arms? I wonder if it would be those who will forever carry the emotional and physical wounds and scars for what they have seen and done all to preserve life and liberty. Could it be those who hide the tear in their eye when the American Flag passes by? Would it be those who answer the call and will lay down their life for our country and for those who debate what a hero really is? Ultimately they would have to agree that all those young men and woman who lay beneath the ground with their graves marked by a white stone, dying in combat in battles from the American Revolution to Operation Enduring Freedom would be considered heroes! Wouldnâ€™t they? If not, I am not sure I know what a Hero really is.
Let me say thank you to all those who have served, continue to serve, and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. No matter what-You are my Hero!
Chaplain Lt. Derrick Horne, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake