What is a Hero?
I would like to take a minute of your time, and just throw in my two-cents in here concerning an issue on one of the other groups here.
I spent twenty-years of my life serving the United States Marine Corps, (1974-1994); there has been nothing in my life of 58 years that can come close to even matching that day on the Parade Deck of MCRD San Diego on a November day in 1974, when I earned the title Marine!
It would be a title that I still hold today, because no one can take it away from me, and as far as I am concerned, I am still obligated to this very day to live up to the standards of a United States Marine!
Sure, there are times when I want to lash out at someone, even kill somebody, but the bottom line is whenever I think I’m going put my reputation or my character on the line, “right” always prevails, and I keep telling myself you’re a Marine, act like one!
In the times we are in, it seems we have more and more individuals out there who want to pretend they are a Marine, A Ranger, A Navy Seal, or tell stories of their tour in “Delta Force.”
It’s amazing how people will go through the trouble of donning a uniform of one of our Armed Services, they go to a surplus store and buy all of the medals they can get their hands on to pin on their uniform.
None of them ever served a day in their lives, but there they are, standing tall in that uniform, and when they walk by you, you know in an instant, something is very wrong! Ribbons are all wrong, not in the order they should be, perhaps they never did any investigating to find out what those hash marks on the sleeves mean, just stupid things they’ll do to think that they are fooling somebody.
Even the medals and the ribbons they wear, they have no clue how sacred those medals are!
Let’s talk about those medals for a minute. I can assure you that no one on active duty wants to go to war! None of us wanted to step on a battlefield if we did not have to!
But we were prepared to go if need be. That’s why we train, it’s our duty!
No Soldier, no Medic, no Navy Corpsman or Marine gets up early in the morning ready to engage the enemy… waking up and decides; “I think I’ll go win the Medal of Honor today!”
It doesn’t happen that way! So what is a Hero?
That’s very hard to define, and those who have served, have a slight clue to what that title means!
In every hall way of every building in the Marine Corps, there in the hallway hangs what is known as the “Wall of Honor” and hanging on this huge plaque are “citations of men who gallantly gave their lives or performed heroic feats of valor on the battlefield.
When you read these citations it overwhelms you of some of the feats these men performed, most of them died performing these harrowing acts of valor and bravery. Why?
See, this is where those of you who want to be like those men of honor, have no understanding or clue of what being a hero really is?
It’s called the “Moral Compass” and all of us have that within us. The thing is that a Moral Compass lies dormant within our hearts, and will only show itself when that time has come upon you!
Those of us fortunate to have read these citations, can even have the slightest understanding of why some of these men did what they did?
What makes a man reach out for that grenade and pull it towards him and smothers it, taking the full brunt of the blast in order to save his fellow Warriors? What makes that one man stand up in the middle of that rice paddy and move forward causing that machine gun to swing towards him, and as he continues to move from left to right dropping down every so many steps firing his M-14 or M-16A1 Rifle at that machine gun bunker, while his fellow Warrior can run that 100 feet into that ravine and be safe from enemy fire.
Why does he do this? It’s that Moral Compass I told you about. It took one man to realize how serious the situation is. His heart starts to tell him something has to be done. And for whatever reason, he makes the decision; it is he who must act. Whether right or wrong does not matter, if it shall cost him his life, it doesn’t matter, he acts and does the unthinkable!
Every man has a breaking point, and some have more than others. The prime example was from World War I, where many men came back with “shell shock” from the constant barrages of artillery shells dropping on their positions.
Other men could sit, crouched in the fetal position smoking a cigarette, and not be phased at all by the barrage.
We’re all different in some ways, our breaking points all differ from one another. Sometimes it’s this breaking point that makes a man who no one ever thought would do such a stunt, but ends up being a hero.
It is that Moral Compass inside of all of us that makes any one of us capable of doing the unthinkable.
I know for Marines, Rangers, Airborne, Navy Seals, and Delta Force, it is the very history of their unit that will bring forth that Moral Compass. It’s the history of that unit or that organization that feeds your soul, you’re proud of that unit you are a part of, that title you hold and the glorious history of who you belong too that stirs that Moral Compass!
Should we be honored and humbled that those who never stepped foot on those “yellow” footprints want to pretend to be like us?
We in uniform are awestruck by our fellow Warriors who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Only we who donned the uniform know what the taste of Freedom really is! We ourselves can only wish that perhaps one day, the individual Soldier can wonder… “Will I ever be able to do such a noble and heroic act and give my life for 'Freedom'?”
And you think you’re going to go to a store and buy yourself a uniform you know nothing about, put it on without ever having to go through the rigors of earning it the way “we” had too?
I suggest that you go buy yourself a superman, or Spiderman outfit, then go out in public and make believe you’re “somewhat” a hero!
Because if there is one thing I know for sure, you pretenders are nothing, you’re not a hero; you’re just somebody who thinks you can fool the masses!
Here is the best suggestion I can give to “those” who pretend, take a strong sleeping pill and go dream of doing the very thing you don’t have the guts to do, and let those who have courage, integrity, and spirit the Corps go forth and fight our Country’s Battles, because not all of us can be heroes, somebody has to stand on the sidelines and cheer, and I think the pretenders will make fine cheerleaders, and nothing more!