In less than twenty-four hours I have heard two "speeches" that made me wish I had found a way to record them. One at a military ball and another at church this morning.
Both got me thinking and nodding my head and trying to commit certain lines to memory. The topics were entirely different, nothing overlapped, and I'm not even sure which I am going to talk about here. I cannot tell you how much I wish I just had copies of what was said but one was just speaking from the heart and the other I don't think would want me to knock on his door and request one. I don't think two-stars appreciate random army wives knocking on their doors but then again, I've never tried it. :)
C and I attended the Army Birthday Ball on post last night. We almost didn't make it because C hasn't been feeling well (of course, he refuses to go to a doctor) but we managed to get there and it was really fun night. I don't know if it was because I didn't understand in the past, or I just wasn't interested, or if the speakers weren't very good, or my mind was racing through other things related to that event or what, but for the very first time a guest speaker got my attention and kept it.
So much of what he said is very much what I believe. So much of the wording and phrases and passion making up his speech are all things that I feel and say and trust in.
He said that our soldiers - whether people acknowledge it or not - are in the middle (not end) of a major conflict. He said that our soldiers - no matter what people paint them as - are not victims, they are not forced into service, but that they choose to serve. They knowingly say, "Send me. I will go. I want to be part of something greater than myself." That they believe in what they do.
He spoke about the first men who stood up to defend an IDEA. The first men who risked their lives for something they believed in with every bit of their soul. The men who had everything to lose while trying to create something that had not existed.
He said the first soldiers were not just fighters. The first soldiers were dreamers first. They dreamed of a future of freedom. It wasn't just (less than) one percent that stood up like it is today. It was so so so many risking fortune and prosperity and comfort for the hope of guaranteeing a chance at that to their children, and grandchildren, and great-great-great-grandchildren.
They fought for us. They died for you.
How few would give up their luxuries and comforts and fortune to protect that of others. How very, very few say, "Send me." How very few understand that freedom is always at risk of being lost. Freedom is never guaranteed or certain. At no point can it go unprotected. At no point can it be made vulnerable. At no point can no one say "I will risk my own for the whole."
Someone must be ready. Someone must have the courage and the faith to defend. So very, very few have made your today possible. So very few will allow for your comforts tomorrow.
So very few.
The humbled few who say each day, "I will go. Send me."