Beyond the Cusp

May 26, 2014

Today is Memorial Day in the United States

Believe it or not, this day for remembering the soldiers, sailors, airmen and others who served in the United States military should be celebrated over much of the planet. The odds are that if your nation was threatened by the Axis Powers in World War II or were under the oppressive rule of the Soviet Union or if you live somewhere which has you hoping for a warrior on a steed of war to ride over the horizon and save you from some horrid oppressions, well, the odds are the ones who arrive to save you past, present and future will be wearing the uniforms of the United States military. This is not to be construed as a blanket affirmation of the correctness of United States policies but is a testament to the individual men and women who put their lives on the line wherever in the world they are sent and who give everything they can for the people in whatever nation they are stationed. This is a testament to these individuals who, although not exactly perfect, are some of the finest and most generous people serving the policies of their government often with a kindness and softness unexpected from combatants. These are the men and women who are too often taken for granted or even scorned as they make herculean efforts to provide protection while also attending to the little things and the ideals which are a part of virtually every service member though not a required part of their required duties. It is seen in their giving a child the chocolate from their rations or carrying wounded civilians in a land that a week earlier they might not have been able to find on a globe but whose people are now job one.


Despite their training in combat sciences the United States military personnel often pull additional duty as brick layers, carpenters, roofers, dry wall hangers and whatever construction job is called for to build the first school, first clinic, first hospital or first structure for just about any function one can imagine that the villagers in some remote location have ever seen, let alone ever expected to have one in their own little hamlet. They often have to wear different hats such as medic, friend, teacher, counselor, trainer electrician, telephone installer, repairman and, of course, protector in some of the most remote places on the planet. The United States military can be tasked to go anywhere on Earth and arrive after hours of travel without rest and hit the ground running be their task to provide protection, serve as members of search and rescue personnel, construct a bridge, bring aid and comfort or just about any other thankless task and do so professionally. Will they sometimes gripe about the long hours, sure, who wouldn’t. No matter what, they are prepared to do whatever it takes to make the lives of the people safer and richer for having had them present. Most of what these service men and women do in selfless service is never lauded or written up in the daily news as their meritorious works are considered commonplace and nothing of note, unless you are the recipient of their deeds. What does make the news is any time they commit an error or make a decision with poor judgment as these are noteworthy exceptions to their dedicated and consistently well intentioned performance often under the worst of conditions. No matter the requirements of the deployment or where they may find themselves, the men and women of the United States military exemplify professionalism and often are scorned not because of their actions but because of preconceived notions or ill will towards their government, the government they must defend regardless of their personal political or other views as that is what a professional soldier does. So, this Memorial Day how about if you should see one of the service members you smile and just tell them “thank you” and see if that doesn’t bring a smile to their faces as well.


Beyond the Cusp


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