As a writer, I am always looking for new inspiration to write or blog about. And last weeks Super Bowl Sunday looked like it had a strong possibility for some fresh and new ideas. While everyone else would be writing or commenting on things like which team had the most first downs or Madonna’s performance during the half-time show, I decided I would go a different route this year. Pig & I attended the Super Bowl party over at the Long Bar hosted by the Warriors Roadtrip Network for our wounded warriors.
Being a Biker, I have always been a patriot of our country, a supporter of our military, and I always wear our nation’s colors with pride. As Pig & I made ourselves at home at the party, it was easy to talk with our wounded warriors. Of course with Pig hanging around, it’s not hard to start mingling with people you don’t know. Pig makes a great ice breaker when you have him sitting on your shoulder as most people open up with “What’s up with the pig?”
It became an honor to be able to sit & spend some time with some real life, true American heroes.
Heroes like Dwayne.
Dwayne served 26 years in the intelligence division of the USFA. He couldn’t tell me about the secret missions he was on during his career; he just said that he was mostly TDY out of Tinker AFB. Dwayne now suffers from a disincarnating disk in his back which causes pinched nerves in his back. This condition makes it hard for him to stand or sit for long period of time and is a result of his time served in the military. In his retired life before his lungs gave out, Dwayne worked as a patriotic clown doing shows wherever and was once on the Tony Orlando show in Branson MO. We were blessed to have Dwayne recite the Pledge of Allegiance for us. He recited it the way that Red Skelton used to, making it personal and full of meaning.
Then there was the young lady I met, she still serves in the army after her husband was wounded in Iraq 2 years ago, recovered from his injuries, and went to Afghanistan for a tour… only to be KIA over there.
I met a couple of soldiers who walked with limps and I met several who didn’t seem to have anything wrong with them at all (on the outside). But on the inside, their minds have to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) every single day
I guess what really brought the war home to me is when I met a young man in his mid twenties by the name of Mario. Mario was on tour in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was riding in was blown up by an I.E.D. As a result of the explosion, he lost his right eye and right arm, his left hand has only two little nubs left for fingers and his face and arms are covered in burn scars. Although permanently disabled, for Mario, everyday is a blessing to cherish.
As I sat there with those soldiers I learned a few things about them other than just their injuries. You may not have noticed but we have all seen them before. The older guys, well, they are the ones who live just a few blocks away from your house. The younger ones are not only our sons and our daughters; but they grew up as the kid down the street from our homes. You remember them from when we watched them play sports; they even went to the same schools as our children did.
When they grew up and became men and women, they made a choice to accept the job to protect not only our borders but to protect our freedoms as well. If it was not for brave soldiers such as these men and women, I could not enjoy the freedom to write and say what I feel. They preserve what our founding fathers created for us. I was humbled at the opportunity to sit in the presence of these real American heroes. These young men and women fought our nation’s battles and they continue to serve even today.
For most of these young heroes, the war may never be over for them. The scars they bear and the pain from their wounds will never go away. We owe them much and yet they ask so little of us. All they ask for is our respect and to remember what it is they have done for each and every one of us. It makes them feel good knowing that people are out there doing things for them, such as the Warriors Road Trip, and that we still care about them.
Before I left the party, I walked up to each of them and shook their hand. I wanted them to know I was proud of them for serving me. I told each one that I would sleep better knowing the name and faces of those who protect my family from the dangers of those who wish to take my peace away.
In closing I would like to add Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For you are with me; Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me. Words and protection given to us by God. Insured by the US military.