05 June 2006

A Function of Loyalty

Marine Lt. Gen. James F. Amos:

"When we send them off to do the nation's bidding in a place like Afghanistan or Iraq and they're wounded, we're not returning the same individual," Amos said. "When we send them back wounded there is a piece of me that says I haven't kept my bargain. What's left for me to do is to continue taking care of them."

It starts with a visit - to as many as he can.

"It's a function of loyalty," the 59-year-old general said. "In Marine speak, it means fidelity. It's a wonderful word not used very often - except in the Marine Corps. It means faithful. It implies faithful almost to a fault...

"I owe it to them."

Unlike the General, we are often asked by the soldiers at Kleber outpatient barracks who we are and why we are there. I usually reply that we're just volunteers. During a recent visit there with Mrs. G, one Soldier kept pressing us for a more complete answer.

I always find that question difficult to answer, because it seems so self explanatory to me. I'm just trying to do my part.

We are at war. Because the military is doing its job in taking the fight to the enemy, we don't experience the war at home. But make no mistake - the Global War on Terror is more than the political and academic debates with which we are ceaselessly confronted in the mainstream press.

This is a real war, with real enemies.

And everybody has a part to play, whether it's engaging friends and aquaintances who question our right to defend ourselves or sewing a blanket. Everybody can do something, everybody can make a difference.

Back to our Soldier. I finally decided to turn the tables on him and asked why *he* does what he does.

He just laughed and said, "I guess you could call me a volunteer, too".

Via FbL, who has an inspiring post on the subject.

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