Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Call to Patriotism: Part II

Another day and my government office is closed.  Another day and my girls' school is closed.  Outside, icicles are dripping on the downspouts because it's 40F out but soon, it will be 15F.  The roads are covered in ice.  Inside, though, 3:30am is the same as it was yesterday and every day before.  Today, though, while the family slept, I stumbled upon a 1hr, 24min documentary titled "The Way We Get By" on Hulu.  Before we get to that, though, I will admit that I've read my own post on this topic multiple times and received a plethora of feedback...all good, actually.  Mostly thanks for raising awareness and also opening some doors for great discussion.  As I mentioned in the original Call to Patriotism post, I urged seeking out local ways to get involved. To that end, I did that in one small way.  The Wounded Warrior Project is an organization dedicated to those who return home wounded from war.  Their slogan is "The Greatest Casualty is Being Forgotten." They are a non-profit organization fully funded by donations.  Not being able to find a local chapter, I reached out via e-mail and immediately got a response guiding me to sign up on their volunteer form online so that I may be added to their database so when a need arises locally, they know how to get me.  Only a few hours later, I received an e-mail welcoming me to the family from a wounded Army soldier who is actively involved with the WWP.  This is just one step I've taken but will continue to seek out new ways to get involved.

Back to the documentary I watched this morning.  It is not what you might expect.  It is a story about 3 senior citizens who live in Bangor, Maine, near the airport where many of our troops last touch U.S. soil before heading over or where they first arrive back in the States.  They greet every soldier, shake every hand, both outbound and inbound.  It's a story both about strong, deep, unwavering, quiet patriotism that asks for nothing and wants nothing...from a generation that many have forgotten.  It's also a story about the stark reality of our troops constantly flooding in and out of Harm's Way while we go about our daily lives.  Watching them celebrate each 100,000th member is a visual reminder of the shear volume of service-members fighting the fight.  As the documentary closes, I was humbled as one of the older men, a Navy veteran of 32 years, pulled the protective plastic off of his dress blues uniform to attend a rainy Memorial Day parade.  That uniform was squared away, inspection ready!  A quote I pulled from this documentary was spoken by him about 2/3 of the way through (paraphrased): "I don't have anything else to live for.  My usefulness is gone.  But, as long as I can serve someone else, perhaps I can still be of some use."  Friends, that epitomizes a servant's heart and what true devotion is.

1 comment:

Libby said...

I love that documentary. Saw it last March at the Film Fest. The directors and that main guy, forget his name, the one with the dog, were there after for Q and A.