It is a warm spring morning in the River Valley of Afghanistan and the day seemed like every other day. Wake up, eat breakfast, prepare the vehicles / equipment for the days mission, and random conversation about being one day closer to home. The mission is to drive up the River Valley to a summer forward operating base and conduct patrols. There are no alerts or warnings to signal that there would be any trouble, but a professional takes no chances. The weapons are lubricated and ready for action, the men are dressed in battle gear and armor plated vests. As they begin to pull out of the base, the mission begins. All eyes are open, the gunner's head is on a swivel looking for danger and watching the mountain tops, roadways, and people walking on the side of the streets.
They enter the River Valley Road which is a narrow bumpy dirt road littered with trash and objects along the side adding to the gunner's responsibility to make sure they do not drive by a roadside bomb. They come to a switchback, which is a road joined by a hairpin turn, and all three vehicles attempt to make the transition safely when a shot rings out and the first gunner falls. The second gunner jumps out of the vehicle to assist the first gunner and is also shot. The convoy is now taking fire from a sniper in the distance shooting between a gap in the mountains.
During the assault, the enemy close by steps out and fires a rocket propelled grenade at the first vehicle and it is a devastating hit. The assault seems to last for hours, but it was very short and the damage was done. Men lost their lives and a nation lost its heroes, fathers, brothers, and sons. No words can describe the heroism and love of a fellow man helping another under fire. It is this intensity that only the few can understand and have experienced. It is not a thought or hesitation, just a reaction to preserve what was whole only a few hours ago.
Veterans Day was yesterday and is one of the few days our nation expresses its gratitude publicly for those who payed the price for our nations calling. Is one, two, or three days a year enough to tell our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters that their sacrifice was greatly appreciated? As more and more Service members leave the military, they are realizing new challenges that do not reflect the support of their nation. They are fighting a different war for employment, disability, and the stigma of conditions that are found in everyday society, but somehow are attached to every military Service member who served their country in her time of need.
It only took one day to pay the price, the ultimate price for serving the nation, and their loss feeds Americas way of life to continue to come and go as we please, buy that latte at Starbucks, watch television in the comfort of warm homes, and buy nice things for ourselves and loved ones. In return, their pictures are put on walls and buildings are named after them to immortalize their sacrifice for this country. Let us not forget the men and women to the left and right that still live and carry their sacrifice with them every day for the rest of their lives.
No one gets left behind! It has been the motto of the military services for decades and should carry on when they come back to society after their service. They are the first and last line of defense for our freedoms when all diplomacy fails putting all others before themselves. Let us not make them last place when they come back to society.
Posted by Veteran Owned Locksmith, LLC. Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.