Thursday, February 23, 2006

Any Given Sunday

Thanks to one of my favorite blogs, One Marines View, for putting up this amazing poem on Superbowl Sunday. Kinda puts things in perspective.

For all the free people that still protest, you’re welcome, We protect you and you are protected by the best. Your voice is strong and loud, but who will fight for you? No one standing in your crowd.

We are your fathers, brothers, and sons, wearing the boots and carrying the guns. We are the ones that leave all we own, to make sure your future is carved in stone.

We are the ones who fight and die. We might not be able to save the world , well at least we try. We walked the paths to where we are at and we want no choice other than that.

So when you rally your group to complain, take a look in the back of your brain. In order for that flag you love to fly, wars must be fought and young men must die.

We came here to fight for the ones we hold dear, if that’s not respected we would rather stay here. So please stop yelling and put down your signs, and pray for those behind enemy lines.

When the conflict is over and all is well, be thankful that we chose to go through hell.

It’s an early Sunday morning. The anticipation builds along with excitement. Nerves twinge and fears and worries race through your head this morning. It’s the big event, the Super Bowl. I’m not talking the football game I’m talking about your next convoy.

But wait everyday is the Super Bowl here. That’s the mind set. You get your “gear” on, have a pre game (order & rehearsal) and you’re always practicing. Sure there are some big time pressures in a Super Bowl football game and I’m sure they seem grand with high stakes. A lot at stake, trophy, money, fame, victory but it’s still a game and not your life at stake. If it comes down to the last few seconds of the game and you begin to see teammates holding hands like they did in their college days on a knee as the kicker lines up to kick the winning field goal and the kicker misses, you aren’t going to have to begin first aid treatment for a sucking chest wound…….well usually you wont have to but the fans may wish otherwise. If they don’t get to the first down hash mark on third down during the fourth quarter, you’re not going to have to go to physical therapy for six months to learn how to use your prosthetic. But if you catch a glimpse of a Marine taking a knee, do us a favor and keep your pie hole shut and respect em while they do it.

Sure the coaches and players on Sunday will have plans and plays for their strategy. But will they be reading the surrounding citizens in the stands to see if they are pulling their kids off the streets because of an immanent attack? Will they see a piece of press trash blow towards them on the side lines and flinch because of a past IED experience? Will the game be interrupted by incoming mortars??……..not while were at work.

It may not be fair to compare the Super Bowl with combat action in Iraq and Afghanistan but if you want to talk about the “Big Show”, all the marbles, what you’ve been training for your entire life then, yes you can compare the two.You can compare the stresses, fear, anxieties, joy and sadness.

However, we are 10,000 miles from anyone who really likes us and do it everyday not just on one particular Sunday. No autographs, few positive interviews, no contracts for endorsements or rolling around in expensive cars or nice houses. But I do have a sweet cot they can borrow…….when I don’t need it and I’ll take my scratched armed to the teeth hummer over their new Mercedes here any day.

The game comes on around 0300 for us, not that it will be any different from any other day heck, Christmas wasn’t different why would the Super Bowl create a special day? We won’t see the two million dollar commercials as the government station that shows the game will only produce safety commercials and weather reports for the region instead. The standard day’s events will take place and we will have our own game to fight.

As you watch the game this Sunday, having a cold one with your cigar, chips and dip and family and friends, take a couple seconds and remember we are out here for you and proud to do it.
Some on their third tour, some here for a year, some just getting here. As you watch the game, know that that somewhere a young Marine is walking the streets of a foreign land, driving the armored hummer on their billionth convoy or standing a post to keep the wolf at bay while the game is on. When they play and sing the National Anthem, listen to the words carefully because we are making those words actions here taking care of business during our Super Bowl. The super stars on the field will play their game but regardless don’t believe the rumors, your Marines are human.

This Super Bowl Sunday the players will don their battle gear, conduct their press days, living with excitement and fame. Enjoy their moment to shine and they will do everything in their power conquer and seize the moment for when they will make a difference. Your Marines, well we will be doing the same thing here.

Semper Fidelis


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