Second Place 2005 Picture of the Year International
odd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News
There are so many people in this country who still don't appreciate the sacrafices being made by those who serve in our armed forces both today around the world and in decades past. The fact that so many are oblivious is disappointing and infuriating at the same time. So for those of you out there who "still don't get it," here's a little perspective.............
Your alarm goes off. You hit the snooze button and sleep for another 10 minutes. He might have to stay up for three days at a time.
You take a warm shower to help you wake up in the morning, while he might have to go days or even weeks without running water.
You complain of a headache and call in sick while he gets shot at during the day. Some of his friends might get hit....he helps them and keeps moving forward.
You put on your "Anti War/I Don't Support the Troops" shirt and go meet up with your friends after stopping for a latte' while he continues to fight for your right to wear that shirt.
You make sure your cell phone is in your pocket at all times...just in case. He clutches the cross hanging on the chain next to his dog tags...just in case.
You talk trash about your friends when they're not with you. He knows he might not see some of his buddies again....so every moment is important.
You walk down the beach or sidewalk staring at all the pretty girls. He walks down the street searching for insurgents and terrorists.
You complain about how hot it was last week. He wears heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow in extreme heat......the likes most of us will never experience. And he does it everyday.
You go out to lunch and complain because they got your order wrong. He may not eat today. Supplies don't arrive until tomorrow.
Your maid makes your bed, washes your clothes, and makes sure that everything is just right. He might wear the same clothing for a month, but every single moment that weapon is clean and ready to go.
You go to the mall to get your hair done/cut. He hasn't been able to brush his teeth in two days.
You get angry because your class ran five minutes over. He was just told by his C.O. that he's being "held over in country" an extra six months.
You call your girlfriend to set a date for that night. He waits for mail call to see if there's a letter from home.
You hug and kiss your girlfriend like you do everyday, many times taking her for granted. He holds that letter from home, smells it all week long.
You roll your eyes because the baby is crying. He gets letters with pictures of his newborn and wonders if they'll ever meet.
You criticize your government chanting: War never solves anything! He see's the innocent tortured and killed by their own government and remembers why he's fighting.
You tell jokes about the war and make fun of the men. He hears gunfire and shelling, but still stands his post and does his job.
You see and (more importantly) are content with what the media want you to see and hear. He sees the reality and the carnage of death around him as he fights for you.
Your parents ask you to go to the store, but you whine about their request because you are so busy doing absolutely nothing. He does what he is told because it's his duty.
You stay at home in front of the tv...taking it easy. He takes the little free time he has to call and write home, sleep, eat, and take care of the necessities before doing it all over again tomorrow.
You crawl into your bed with the down pillow and comforter trying to get comfortable. He crawls underneath a tank for some shade and a five minute nap.
You sit there and judge him, saying the world is a worse place because of the wars he fights. We say the world would be a much better place if there were more men like him.
If you support our men and women......say so! They deserve our support more than any politician ever has or ever will. And they deserve to know they have our support now more than ever before.
(originally posted 7-24-06 on Yahoo 360)