Today on the show we played a montage of celebrities who had passed in the year 2010. A listener then pointed out on her Facebook that she was angry that we would do this, when the men and women of our armed forces die and their names don't get read on the air.This was a point that i understood and on many levels agree with and applaud the sentiment behind it. Another person posted onto her post her agreement and added how "sickening" it was that these soldiers are overlooked. At this point I had to comment myself. This is what I wrote.
As a soldier, let me let you guys in on something. A soldier never wants individual acknowledgement. No soldier is a one, we are a small unit in force that is bigger than its parts. Just like the Medal of Honor winner, who keeps on trying to tell people he did not except it for himself , but for all the men and women who served with him. each and every one a hero, no one man, or woman better than the rest. Your point is well taken. And we do acknowledge the sacrifices made by our U.S. Soldiers all the time on this show. But it also does not lesson the loss of people who spend their lives trying to bring a smile to people who lost a loved one in the war, or to help them escape their sadness for a couple of hours in a movie theater etc. Everyone matters, everyone. The guy down the street who worked every day to provide for his family and got nothing at the end of the day but a retirement watch and good wishes, he's a hero to someone as well. We cant mention every person. So celebrities become a "representation of all the people we mourn losing" as we all know them.
Another soldier then commented and I though he said it better than I did. he wrote, "Don't worry about them not mentioning the names of the fallen. We do it for each other and for our country. We do it so people can make lists of celebrities that have died in the past year and get their minds off what is really going on. Just take time in your own way to morn those who have fallen for our country this year and that will be more than enough."
I guess what I'm saying, and that other soldier was saying is if you would like to "Honor" the people who fight , and risk losing their lives for this wonderful Country, keep it wonderful. Enjoy the freedoms and liberties that they believe in enough to fight for. Keep the ideal of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence alive. Be fair and just and true to each other, even though you have differences. Trust me its easier to do when that "black person" "Asian" or "gay guy" or that "democrat" or "republican" or that "Jew" or "atheist" is next to you in a fox hole and is the difference between you living or dying. You would be amazed how much of that petty B.S. just doesn't matter anymore when the bullets are flying past your head. Live like a soldier lives. Grateful for every moment he or she has, knowing that if it ends today the fight was worth the loss. Live your life like its not just about "You" and whether your name get mentioned, or you get a medal. Its about protecting and loving the people who are dearest to your heart and doing it with good strong people who feel the same. Honor our soldiers, past and present by being proud of the flag they swore to protect even while protecting the people who would burn it in protest. We are all Americans, we are all heroes and guardians of the values and that make this country what it is. And if you ask a soldier who they are fighting for, who they are risking their lives for they would probably like to list every one of your names but he would be forced to settle for "all of us, we are all in this together".
In closing, there are many ways to " Honor" a soldier, and not a single soldier would ask you to do it. But if you want to , do it in your own way and never let anyone tell you its not good enough. Or you dont "care" enough. Should you care? yes. But they are also fighting for your right not to as well. All that said, if you brought a plate of home made cookies down to your local V.A. Hospital, I bet they wouldn't hate you for it.