Views & Commentaries with Sharon Sebastian
BLOOD AND TREASURE (Redux): Tribute to our Military
By Sharon Sebastian
Memorial Day signifies and celebrates America’s valiant warriors of today and yesterday. Our nation’s pride is mixed with pain as we pay tribute to America's finest. Honoring our lost and wounded, that fought for our freedoms in all wars, is every citizen’s duty. Chance meetings with members of our military, followed by a firm handshake and heartfelt gratitude, fall shy of our deepest appreciation for their sacrifice. So, again I share a passing encounter with a young Marine who was faceless in an airport crowd, but now remains imbedded in both mind and heart.
During a long layover at an airport, dozens of Marines flowed through the crowds. One settled into a seat directly across from me. We struck up a conversation. Strong and sturdy, with an even gaze, this Marine told me how he became a man. The product of the grand mixture that is the proud heritage of America's melting pot, he spoke of his Anglo dad and Hispanic mother. Sitting before me, he was that day an all-American of our finest caliber. His story revealed, however, that had not always been the case. He spoke of how his teen years were filled with truancy and drugs and being kicked out of the house by a strong and loving Mom and what he called an "old school" Dad whose discipline he now understands. Facing nothing but dead ends for months, he soon turned eighteen. After three days with no food, he had had enough. He sought out a Marine recruitment office and signed the dotted line. His sketchy background fell short of Marine Corps standards, yet the recruiter saw something in him and made an exception. Like a snake shedding its useless skin, his old life was soon to be left behind.
What happened next still astonishes him. Within four months after enlisting, he said, "I became a man." Both wonder and frankness filled his voice at how the Corps transformed his life, his purpose, his duty, and his manhood. Four months, he said in disbelief at how quickly his attitude and life had changed for the better. In order to deploy, the Corps required him to get a GED. He said he was humbled to wear the uniform. I was honored to hear his story. Sitting there, he embodied our valiant sons and daughters, cousins, grandchildren and brothers and sisters. As he sat there ready to return to battle, I promised him that we would do our job to provide support for our valiant military and to sustain America and the Constitution as we know it so that they will have something to come home to. He nodded and said he'd appreciate that. He then said, "You know, when I made my first visit home, Dad came up to me, shook my hand and told me he loved me. He had never done that before." He spoke of friends who are his age of 21 and still prowling the streets and living the life he left behind. Today, he reaches out to them while on leave. He offers them gas money to drive to interviews for a job or to an enlistment office. Some comment that he thinks he is better that they are and he answers them -"Yes, I am." I nodded in agreement, "Yes, you are." You were once them," I tell him. "Now, they can step-up and be a man like you."
It is young men and women, such as these from all walks of life, that take on the duty, burden, and honor to defend our freedoms and way of life. It is American blood that flows through their veins and it is the loss of American blood and their lives that we honor. We salute all branches of our military that stand between us and the enemy that seeks America's destruction. They deserve and must have the best support of America's citizens and its government.
Those in Congress or the White House, who withhold funding of our military as a bargaining tool to gain political advantage, must be exposed and expunged. It is every American’s duty to clean house of politicians who treat the U.S. military as a political pawn. Recall the valiant young Marine in the airport. We speak of expending our nation's blood and treasure in war, but let us never forget that in regard to all who serve - their blood is our treasure.
Sharon Sebastian (www.DarwinsRacists.com) is an author, writer and contributor for various forms of media including broadcast, print and online websites. Her second book, Darwin’s Racists – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, addresses the global “evolution vs. creation” debate highlighting both the impact of Social Darwinism on America’s culture today and its influence on current policy coming out of Washington. Website: www.DarwinsRacists.com
Provided by our friend Sharon Sebastian