I just got this email from a client. Not sure if the pics come through. PM me if you want to see the whole thing.
I'm not much for praying, but some of you are.
1/2 boy 1/2 man
If you read this, you WILL forward it on.
You just won't be able to stop yourself.
The average age of the military man is 19 years.
He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who,
under normal circumstances is considered by
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind
the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old
enough to die for his country. He never really
cared much for work and he would rather wax
his own car than wash his father's, but he has
never collected unemployment either.
He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport
activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a
steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when
he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.
He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he
was at home because he is working or fighting
from before dawn to well after dusk. He has
trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him,
but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and
reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite
to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.
He can march until he is told to stop,
or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation,
but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.
He is self-sufficient.
He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never
to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend
his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you
are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition
with you in the midst of battle when you run low..
He has learned to use his hands like weapons
and weapons like they were his hands.
He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.
He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.
He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed..
He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.
In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.
He has asked nothing in return, except
our friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . ..
A short lull, a little shade and a picture of
loved ones in their helmets.
Prayer wheel for our military... please don't
break it Please send this on after a short prayer.
'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands..
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan , sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq , Afghanistan and all foreign countries.
There is nothing attached...
This can be very powerful...
Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.
I can't break this one, sorry.
Pass it on to everyone and pray..
Reminds me of a story of one of my favorite clients.
These people were sort of a godsend. I was having a terrible month and didn't know how I was going to make any money. In came the Smith's (obviously not their real name). Ginny Smith was a sweet old lady, almost like a caricature of what a 'sweet old lady' is. Roger Smith first appeared as a frail old man, shuffling slowly but confidently into my office.
They came in and said that their current financial advisor had left the business and needed someone else to help them with their investments. After giving them an impromptu 10 minute presentation about myself and my offerings, they decided that they wanted to move their account to me. I set up an appointment to meet them at their house later in the week to go through the necessary paperwork and review their holdings.
I got to their condo later in the week, was warmly invited inside, and sat down at their dining room table. It was my last appointment of the day, so I was not pressed for time, and as is my habit before talking too much business to new clients I asked them about what they had done for a living before they were retired. Ginny, smiled widely and said she was a nurse. We talked shortly about that. At that, I turned to Roger who had just brought myself and Ginny a glass of water from the kitchen and asked him what he did. He said he was retired military. I thanked him for his service, and asked him where and in what branch he served (I have family and friends at different posts around the country). He said that he was in the Army, and had served in WWII.
I followed up with a question about what role he played in WWII, and he recounted his experience at Normandy. Being a relatively young guy, I never personally knew anyone that was at Normandy (my grandfather was a WWII vet, but as an engineer and never saw combat), so I cherished the opportunity to speak to someone that was there and asked some delicate follow up questions. At this a man who seemed to sometimes have a hard time speaking in more than a whisper as his lungs and throat failed him in his age spoak in a renewed and surprising vigor. As he told of some of his experiences I remember being astonished at the intensity of the scene he set, and in that moment a frail man of maybe 130 pounds seemed to stiffen his spine and grow in his chair almost out of nowhere. A once reserved stoic faced beemed with pride. When he finished, I sort of sheepishly offered him as sincere a thank you as I could muster. With that he shrugged and said "it's wasn't a big deal. I just did what I felt was my duty".
Getting in my car on the way home I couldn't (and never will) get the image of a man that was so frail shrugging his shoulders at the rememberance of such an incredible and selfless act out of my head, and the words "it wasn't a big deal" sort of bounced around inside my head. I will come home to a warm house with nice things and sigh at times at my exhaustion because I had a few appointments and spent a couple hours being rejected on the phone, and this man stormed a beach head without hesitation because he knew he had a beautiful wife at home, and that the world would be better for him performing his duty even if it meant that he wouldn't make it home from that beach.
From time to time I keep this in mind when I think I have a hard day, there are people right now that are out patrolling a deserted outpost in some corner of a foreign country who willingly and dutifully take on more risk for less pay, and when thanked simply shrug and say "it isn't a big deal".