Your cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.
You talk trash about your 'buddies' that aren't with you.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.
You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He patrols the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.
You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.
You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
He doesn't get to eat today.
Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.
You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.
You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.
You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.
You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.
You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.
You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.
You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.
You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the broken bodies lying around him.
You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
He does exactly what he is told even if it puts his life in danger.
You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.
You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.
This was a "chain letter" of sorts sent to me but it really got me thinking about the bravery and selflessness our soldiers show...every day. It's easy at times (too easy for me I confess) to complain about things that just seem so trivial when compared to the plight of our troops.
I may not believe in or support this war (or any for that matter), but I do support our soldiers. Whether they are young or old, men or women, first timers or re-enlisted, their bravery simply stuns me. That they willingly go to the lengths they do to protect our freedom or to create it for others is nothing less than amazing.
In their honor, I salute, and pray today.