Today is Memorial Day and as I sit here drinking my coffee, I reflect on those that paid the ultimate sacrifice but I also reflect on what that sacrifice paid for. So many people today take everything they have for granted. Most of us never really had to sacrifice or struggle and our enjoying the toils and sacrifice of those that went before us.
I do not share this very often, but I struggled for many years (and still do) with thoughts that I should not be here because of some of the close calls from multiple combat tours. The list of names of brothers and sisters of mine who we lost over the years in crushing to my heart and soul. Why was I the lucky one that was allowed to come home with just a few TBI related issues and more than a lifetimes amount of memories of shadows of those days? Just as disturbing to me is all the other brothers and sisters I have lost who did make it home but the memories they brought home with them eventually beat them.
When I think about this ultimate price that was paid by so many young Americans, I cannot help but feel a responsibility to honor that sacrifice by how I live my life. There is one part of the movie “Saving Private Ryan” where the character played by Tom Hanks whispers to Private Ryan, played by Matt Damon, “Earn this”. Those two words in context to all the sacrifices made by American’s sons and daughters over its two hundred- and forty-three-year history weigh heavily on me as I see it sometimes taken for granted. I am also aware that many of citizens of this great nation do not fully realize the magnitude of what it took to enjoy the freedoms they squander. This is also true for many of my fellow veterans as I see a trend towards an attitude that because they served, they are somehow now entitled and people owe them just for raising their right hand.
At this point if you are still with me you might be asking yourself why is all of this on a “running” blog? For me, “It’s all about the miles” has grown to be about much more than just health fitness and me going on and on about running or cycling. It is about the journey we all take through life. We must get in those miles, we must get in the work, we must do our part. On this Memorial Day I am reminded and recommit to those two small words… “Earn This”.