The Bow Ramp

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Now That's Courage...

For most of you with a military background, you've probably heard the above punchline many times. For those who have not served in the military, the joke is about the service chiefs bragging about the bravery of their respective people. In order to settle who's men are the bravest, they each, in turn, order one or more of their men to perform some suicidal task. The chosen people bravely go to their deaths, each service out performing the previous one with the panache with which they face their untimely fate. Finally the last service chief (pick your favorite military service here) asks someone to perform a fatal act and the person selected tells him to F**k off. The General/Admiral then turns to his peers and says "Now that's courage!"

In real life it doesn't work that way. No military leader would ever order people to their deaths to settle a bet. Yet, in real life, those same leaders have to place their subordinates (and frequently themselves) in harm's way as part of the mission.

The real courage is shown every day by our men and women in uniform who go forth knowing that they face the possibility of injury or death. This courage is demonstrated every day during wartime and in peace. We all know what being on the wrong end of an IED will do to someone. The press is pretty good at publishing the gory details. This post is to remind everyone that other servicemembers end up in the trauma wards for just performing their day-to-day duties supporting the ones at the pointy end of the spear. Those of us who have been there know. As a former sailor, I am particularly aware of the dangers at sea. I have witnessed shipmates sliced, crushed, impaled, seared, smeared, and drowned.

Let's face it, anyone can end up in a hospital missing some hardware. I could be hit by a car while crossing the street. A tree limb might conk me during a wind storm. Yet most people go through their lives not worrying about that sort of thing because, unless you wish to appear in Jackass, you are generally not purposfully placing yourself into danger. Our folks in uniform voluntarily place themselves into dangerous situations and they generally aren't doing it for the money. They do it for you, I, and everyone else out there living in the USA. Please keep that in mind the next time you see some folks on a street corner waving their peace flags and beating their drums. It takes real courage to put your self in harms way for the likes of Code Pink. If you think that just maybe you owe those folks a little more than a parade every November 11th, please consider giving to Project Valour-IT by clicking on the donate button in the right sidebar. The current fundraising drive ends on Veteran's Day. Our goal is within reach. Please help to put us over the top.

Please note: Donating to a particular team does not mean you are targeting your donation to a wounded warrior from a particular service. All money raised goes into the same pot. This competition is merely a method of raising more money and generating a little bragging rights.

Please give as you can. Your donation is, of course, tax deductable.

Thanks in advance.