Personal Heroes

My first issue of Runner’s World magazine finally came in the mail. I was sooooo excited! My old Drill Sergeant recommended that I start reading some of their articles. So, while I was happily flipping through its pages, I came across a very interesting article about a fallen sailor.

The article “After Life” by John Brant carefully details the life of a sailor known a JT. This sailor came from a small town in Iowa and became a Navy Seal straight out of high school. Not only was he remembered for his good looks and kind disposition; but also for his love of running. After his death during a deployment to Afghanistan, his sister and many others that knew him took up running as a living memorial of him. How touching is this?

For some of us, our heroes might be famous US Presidents, the Dali Lama, the great Gandhiji, ect. I recognize that the stories these (and many others hold) are great in their own right. However, for me, I can’t just say that one person, or even a few people are my hero(es). My heroes are military personnel.

Ok…. Now I know the following is going to be a bit cheesey… So, you might want to grab yourself a bottle of wine for this next bit. (Ha did you see what I did there 🙂

Why? I have a few reasons actually.

1) We are A-political. We don’t fight for politicians, causes, or parties. We fight because we believe in America and the American soldier. That’s it. It’s really that simple.

2) I believe in the American solider because we are taught to continuously dig deep to find that inner strength that we all possess. We dig deep because letting down our comrades is not optional in life or death situations.

3) Because of this, by and large (because I cannot speak for everyone) we have an unwavering solidarity to each other. For me, it doesn’t matter what branch you’re in; service members that know me know that if they are in trouble, I will do everything in my power to help you. The same usually applies vice versa.

4) The soldiers that I serve with are constantly pushing me to go further and do better. I love it. I remember telling a buddy of mine how much his ability to run marathons inspired me. He replied back, “Joseph, we inspire each other.”

So, when I feel that urge to stop running or to skip a training day, I think back to my battle buddies and about how I can’t let them down.

*Note: I just want to make this very clear. Yes, I am a soldier. However, I have not been deployed. Some of the soldiers I serve with have been deployed, others have not. That’s just how the cookie crumbles.

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