Because You Are There

What a horrible start to a day. The coffee pot was not in the coffee maker properly and now I have to clean up the mess. I do not have time for this. Now I did not get my morning coffee and I am running late. Once on the road, the traffic is a nightmare. Where did all of these idiots come from? Great! Now the traffic has stopped and I will be late for work. I really do not need this today.
I finally get to work with just a minute to spare. Why are people looking at me in that way? Have I done something wrong? Are they going to fire me? I hate this job anyway. It is going to be another day of people carrying on about the hatred and vitriol out of Washington. It makes me sick.
Our elected leaders have gone crazy and have lost all sense of dignity. My news channel is not fake news. If anything is fake, it is the way our country is being lead by a bunch of people who have lost the ability to work together and compromise.
No matter where I go, I find people who only care about themselves. I see new signs of hatred and intolerance. Where did all of this come from? It seems we are like a family of children fighting amongst ourselves.
I do not know what has happened to me. I used to be calm, cool and collected. Now I am loud and voice my disdain for our elected officials, the rudeness and intolerance of others, and the lack of respect people are showing for those of different faiths. What can I say about all of this?
Because you have taken an oath that few know about or understand, I can complain and call my representative a mindless buffoon when he shows lack of concern for his constituents.
Because you went through a hellish training program to become who you are today, I can get mad when my stupid actions cause problems with my coffee maker.
Because you have put on the uniform of our nation and have foregone simple rights and pleasures to serve, I can yell at the television when something is said that I disagree with.
Because you believe in something bigger than all of us, those who wish to protest by burning the flag in the town square can do so.
When I am safely tucked in my bed on a cold winter’s night, you stand the watch, alone yet vigilant.
When I yell at the other drivers on my morning commute, you are into your 14th hour of work preparing for a war that few think of, but you do all you can to prevent it.
When I sit lazily on the beach without a care in the world, it is because you stand an inspection, letting the world see the face of our nation as a defender of freedom for all people.
It does not matter if you serve one day or 40 years, you have done more for our nation than any elected official ever could. Potential enemies see you and know that you will not let them by. You are the reason I can complain.
All of the great freedoms we have and many we seldom recognize do not come from the President, a Senator or Representative. They come from a document that you have volunteered to protect and defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic.
Our nation owes you and no amount of money will ever repay that debt. As you stand that lonely guard post or watch. As you shiver in the cold on the bow of that ship with the wind cutting through every inch of your clothing. Never forget that there are some of us out here who know what you face even though we may never understand the feelings and fears you deal with. I for one will never forget all you do and all you need do is reach out and you will find brothers and sisters there to help.
We never forget words that we lived by as well.
Aim High.. Fly, Fight, Win
This We’ll Defend
Semper Peratus
Semper Fidelis
Non Sibi Sed Patriae

CTRCS James Dawson USN (ret)

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