I have enjoyed telling people for years that I know two Navy Seals. They are bad asses and everyone knows it. They endure training that most of us could never comprehend and they carry out missions that are so serious, so awesome, and so dangerous that they are TOP secret. The two SEALs that I know were two of the funniest people you could ever meet, and genuinely personable, friendly and kind to everyone they met. They were both completely separate people with great characteristics, but both the kind of guys that everyone loved and wanted to be around. I could tell story after story of times they made me laugh until my face hurt, and I'm not even one of their close friends.
When you think of the pride of having one of your own serve our country in such a magnanimous way, you purposefully ignore the danger involved with what they do. You choose to see them in your mind carrying out those missions, whooping and hollering together in celebration afterwards, then keeping it all shady around everyone else. You picture victory all the time, missions accomplished, bad guys killed, and rigorous training for the next hard core mission that they tackle. You picture them tossing a few back on their few breaks between missions and just overall being awesome.
But that refusal to consider how serious, how dangerous, and how real their missions are is really for our own self preservation. It's easier to not acknowledge those things because those things won't actually happen to people you know or care about.
The realization of this war came crashing down on Saturday when both Navy SEALs that I know were killed when their helicopter was shot down out of the sky. All of the lives lost were someone special to people all around this great country. All of these men died doing something that they believe in, something they felt was worth dying for, something that allows me to sit in my recliner, snuggle my baby, watch foodnetwork, and blog at free will. My friends died for my freedom, for all of us to live the privileged lives that we do on a daily basis. They are gone and they aren't coming back. They are HEROs. They are the reason we celebrate Memorial Day and they are to be heralded as some of the bravest, most admirable men I ever knew.
These two were sensational people on a personal level, but professionally they were beyond what I can put into words. It hurts my heart that they are gone, but it hurts me more for their families who I know are grieving in a way that I cannot comprehend. Please pray for their families and friends who will feel the emptiness of their space forever. Pray for all of our servicemen. Whether you support this war or not, they are fighting to protect you and me and those we love every single day. They leave their families for months, sometimes years at a time, they miss birthdays, births, holidays, and milestones all the time, for that we should all be grateful regardless of our political views.
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