Thursday, July 22, 2010

"B" is for Bravery

There are many brave people in this world.   And there are many different degrees of bravery.  I bet you have been in a situation where you have been, or felt that you have had to be brave.

About ten years ago I found myself in a situation where I put myself in harm's way, but never even thought about whether or not I could have been hurt.  Afterwards people said that I had been brave for doing what I did.  But it wasn't bravery to me, I just did what I had to do, people were standing around doing nothing, and I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I hadn't acted.

There was a fire in the apartment building that I lived in, an apartment was burning up and the whole floor was full of acrid, black smoke.  People were standing around waiting for the fire fighters when this woman came up to me and said  "There's a baby in that apartment!". Well that just got my blood boiling that she wasn't doing anything to help that child.   I asked the crowd if anyone lived on that floor, and one guy said he did, so I told him to run and wet me two tea towels.  He came back, I took them and ran down the hall with one of them covering my nose and mouth.  A man was near the apartment trying to get the fire hose and extinguisher off of the wall.  I tossed him the other tea towel, felt the door and doorknob, and stupidly opened it, which was unlocked, and entered the apartment.

The smoke was so thick that I couldn't see anything.  After feeling around, bumping into things, calling out to the child and unable to hear any response or crying, I decided to get out of there.  I ended up being all turned around, not knowing where the door was when a fire fighter found me and pushed me out of there.  I had smoke inhalation and second degree burns on my feet which they treated at the hospital.  The next day I found out there never was a child in there, and the woman that told me that there was one, was the person that started the fire.  She was angry that the woman that lived in that apartment declined her sexual advances.  She was seriously messed up and ended up going to jail for it.  But I didn't think twice about trying to get that little one out of there.

Fire Fighters do that everyday.  It takes a lot of guts to walk into a burning building when everyone else is running, panicked out of it.  Police Officers also put their lives in jeopardy on a daily basis.  They could be shot just by pulling someone driving a car over because their tags are expired.  Those men and women that choose those careers, to do that everyday for a living, that know they might not make it home ever again, that's bravery.  I don't think they get thanked enough for standing up and being there whenever anyone needs their help.

But it is our men and women in another uniform, the defenders of our rights and privileges, the soldiers that fight for our countries freedoms that are the unsung heroes.  They could have done anything else with their lives, yet they chose to enroll in the Army, Navy or Marines to stand up and protect the rest of us from our enemies and keep our country's citizens safe from harm.

These men and women leave everything familiar to them and everyone they know behind, including parents, wives, husbands and children.  We have soldiers right this very second fighting and dying or losing their limbs trying to stop terrorists from killing innocents and ruining societies.  I can't imagine being in a foreign country knowing, even inside their safe boundaries, that they could die at any moment. They are the bravest of the brave.

Everyday here at home we take for granted how dangerous going for a walk or driving in a car can be.  Snipers and IED's are killing our soldiers over in Iraq and Afghanistan, just by doing those same activities.  I am sure that they are afraid, but they do their jobs for the greater good despite of it.

If you are on Twitter, I would like you to join my friends and I to salute these heroes by adding #SS to your tweets on Saturdays (Saluting Soldier's Saturdays).  Hopefully we will start a trend showing these brave men and women that we are proud of the job they are doing, that we stand firmly behind them and that we will never forget the lives of the ones that died sacrificing everything for us.

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