True Patriot Love

Wesley at his BMQ Graduation Parade

Some people among us are what once would have been known as members of the warrior clan, born protectors who have a natural instinct to dedicate themselves to the overall wellbeing of others. In our world, these people become our policemen, paramedics, firemen, soldiers. It makes sense that these qualities may run in families, yet we’re not following in the footsteps of the generations before us, per see. We are simply walking the path we were born too.

When I was young joining the army was something I felt I was always meant to do - as far back as we had kept the record, at least one person in every generation of the family served their country in a military uniform (and my Dad was both a soldier and a fireman).

I joined the military during the cold war, which was something that had defined my childhood (and global awareness) with a hint of danger and unpredictiblity. But I see my son’s choice to enlist in todays world to be one made in the face of a more real danger. I’ve blogged before about my feelings on how the world changed the day 911 happened, and I don’t think that anyone would suggest the world is a more stable place today. It’s not. There are bad people out there and they don’t have the best of intentions towards us.

As a parent I worry, of course I do. Any parent would. I raised my children to be good caring people who will contribute to their society in a positive manner. I wish for them nothing short of a long and happy lifetime lived in freedom with a family of their own to love and explore life with. That’s all any of us anywhere really want.

As a warrior and a trained soldier I know and understand the calling and there’s not much else I can say about it because if you don’t get it then you likely never will. Suffice it to say that the freedom we all want needs to be protected and some people in our society are better suited to it than others.

Captain Nichola Goddard said it best when debating with her father about the state of the world and the role of our military in places like Afghanistan. Her father, Dr. Tim Goddard, recalled the conversation after her death (and I have always remembered the words). He said that she subscribed to the view that military force is required to permit the reconstruction of civil society; he argued that education is the key to development for the poor and oppressed.

Quick as a flash,” he said, “she punctured my professorial balloon. ‘You can’t do that when the bad guys run things, Dad,’ she said, ‘they just shoot you. You have to have peace and good government in order for the rest to happen. I do what I do so you can do what you do.”

We do what we do so you can do what you do.

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