Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Am I To Do?

What am I to do? I'm dying to step back into my boots as an Airborne Medic but I can't and most likely never will. It's like I'm starving and I can see the food that my body needs so badly to survive, but I can't seem to get to it.

I don't belong in this (civilian) world anymore. I don't fit the mold. Once I made the decision to don my country's uniform, I signed on to a new way of life. This way is honorable and noble. It holds special value, but only because so few ever make the true commitment. Surely, the individuals themselves are nothing, but the whole stands above all others. The commitment runs as deep as the very nature of who I am as a person. In fact, who I am and what this job requires are intertwined. This way of life demands the kind of devotion that pushes me to do it, even if no one ever knows about the sacrifice. In other words, no credit needed. Furthermore, credit is shunned in an effort to keep my devotion in it's purest form. I'm totally pledged to my place in the larger picture. I know it. I've embraced it. I love it all the way down to my core. I stand ready to lay down my life for those in the same suit of armor. Spilling blood for my country, as it is sometimes necessary, is accompanied by approbation. Not in a prideful, arrogant way, but one that says to those who oppose our great nation, "We will gladly give it all and we're proud to do so."

What am I to do if this way of life is taken from me and I am forced to return to the old self? Men and women are dying on battlefields around the world and I am forced to enjoy the comforts that are taken for granted each day. My warm, soft bed and my climate controlled apartment only add to my guilty conscience. How am I to live comfortably when other whom I care deeply for are suffering for the most nobel causes? This guilt is what drives me to live each day as though it were a gift given. A cause is a cause no mater how it is attained. This Christmas season, my goal is to be extra grateful for all that I have been given including, but not limited to, family, possessions of comfort ( A/C, bedding, vehicles, roads that don't explode, and so on), democracy, and many other small things that make up the life I live that is so blessed. We all choose to either bring honor or disgrace upon ourselves each new morning. I suppose most days, by night fall, I have failed in some way but I fear the day I stop trying when the sun rises in the east.


  1. Andy,

    I'm SO happy you have decided to blog. I've read and re-read both of your posts. I need some time to "absorb". But I can tell you that once I come back here to comment it will be along the lines of, "I hear what you are saying. And, as much as a civilian can understand (which isn't much at all) I know one thing - you have given more than most of us give in a lifetime. I'm grateful you have such a deep faith and and incredibly positive attitude. I hope on day soon that guilt will begin to wane and continue to do so.

    You're such a special person.

  2. Hey Andy,

    I'll be following your blog and I'm glad you're doing this. I agree with Leta - you have given all. No guilt should cloud your mind. But I know that's easier said than done. We enjoyed meeting you in October. You are an amazing young man, and Robert and I are proud to know you. You represent the best of the military - the 173rd!