The Return of Cincinnatus

Life is but for Faith, Family, and Freedom

Archive for the tag “military”

Why We Remember: #MemorialDay

Drip. Drip. Drip.

As I stood in the rain on an afternoon in April, my thoughts were on how cold my rain-soaked uniform felt on my weary body as rain drops dripped from my headgear. We had been standing at attention for what seemed like forever.

Usually during these formations, there is a lot of under breath talking and joking. After all, most of the time, we are in these formations for a dog and pony show. This time was different. That morning, when volunteers were asked for to go to an honorable transfer of three of Ohio’s fallen, most of us volunteered. Sure, it would be cold and rainy…but these were our fellow Soldiers and Ohioans. So, in the reverent silence, as we awaited the C-130 carrying our fallen comrades, my mind began to wander to an April seven years ago.

I was stationed in Iraq along the Iranian border. Caldwell actually wasn’t too bad of a place to reside for a year. Our sleeping quarters were in a building with the officers and other members of headquarters and our Area of Operations (AO) was relatively quiet compared to what our brethren were experiencing out west. It was my off day. April 2005. All of a sudden, one Captain told me that there was a firefight going on, and our troops were ambushed. The information was incomplete, but it was enough to get me to get dressed and head in. We knew there were injuries, but we did NOT know how severe or how many. As our Squadron S1 accountability person, it was my job to find out and report to Regiment. After a couple of hours, we found out that they were in a Baghdad hospital and some were serious…there was a death, but the question was who and was it one of ours. We closed down the phone banks and internet service until we could find out. And as I finally got through to the hospital…they were rattling off those injured, I wrote them down… and then SSG Stephen Kennedy…Kilo-India-Alpha. My heart stopped. We had heard a rumor that SSG Kennedy had been killed, but this was final.

As we lined up as a Squadron to pay our final respects by saluting the infamous rifle, boots, and Kevlar it was solemn. A wave of regret over most of us. We now had a debt we couldn’t ever repay. We now had to live as to not taint what he had done for us. RIP SFC Kennedy April 4, 2005 Turki Village, Iraq.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

As the unmistakable hum of the C130 nears where we are, the families are now ushered out joined by the top commanders and the governor. The worse part is seeing the kids…I had resolved not to shed a tear, but that breaks me. My mind flashes back to June 2004 when I said good-bye to my 14 month old. I remember turning to Mandi and saying, “she has no clue what is about to happen.” Neither do those kids. My heart breaks as tears join the endless parade of droplets down my uniform.

As the caskets go by, we salute. It is the ultimate respect. It is a respect that is earned, not by deed, but by position. Regardless of rank, these Soldiers have achieved such a position. They have given us their last full measure of devotion. They have earned everything we have to give.

1…2…3…heroes loaded by an Honor Guard whose performance is so professional, so dignified. As the last hearse pulls away, and as we march back to the air hangar, that feeling comes back.

They gave their service.

They gave their optimism.

They gave their lives.

They gave everything to support and defend this nation built on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

John Adams said, “It will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom, I can see rays of ravishing light and glory.  I can see that the end is worth more than all the means.”

What do we owe them for these “rays of ravishing light and glory” burning bright in our hearts?

We owe our service.  We owe our optimism.  We owe our lives.

And that is why we must remember.

RIP CPT Nick Rozanski, MSG Jeffrey Rieck, and MSG Shawn Hannon

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What Really Matters…The Aftermath of #BrettKimberlin UPDATED

Political Junkie’s Mom‘s post hit home for me as it ended a bizarre 24 hours for me. Sometimes, in the heat of battle, we get focused so much on the target…we forget what we are fighting for. That is both the positive (and negative) of being a man. Our ability to compartmentalize is what allows us to kill our enemies or prey by day and cradle our children at night. But sometimes we become too engrossed in one compartment. That is why my wife says that she sees her number one job as making sure I don’t ignore the home compartment…it was the same when I was in Iraq. I had a mission to do and I put 110% into it. It was hard to come off that precipice and interact with the family because switching compartments isn’t always easy…but it is necessary.

I tell my son each night when I tuck him in and pray over him (sometimes after he has fallen asleep) that he is a warrior, a scholar, and a gentlemen. But yesterday, while on the frontlines, this warrior had a jolt of why we fight…a jolt that I share with you, as we head into Memorial Day’s festivities. My only regret is that, this weekend, many won’t see it.

I had just gotten off the phone with my friend Stacy McCain, to wish him well and I already felt that twinge…a deep ache you feel for a comrade who is going through something and the helplessness you feel when you can’t really help. Then I sat down and started strolling through my FB Page and saw that my brother (who is deploying) was reunited for the weekend with his son and then I noticed a post from earlier in the week I missed from a close friend…he had lost his son at two months of age…

There are times when we are hit with a brick. There are times when God demands our attention. There are instances when the emotions of a moment are too rich. Sometimes, those moments all hit you at the same time.

WHY I FIGHT

As a Soldier, when I was deployed, I told those close to me that I had resigned my fate. I understood that each time I kissed my wife goodbye, it could be my last. Saying goodbye to my daughter in her crib at 14 months could be the only slightest memory she would have of me. And it was for them, I served my country. The trick is…once you have resigned your fate and after you come back, life is no longer about you. You have to make it about them…it is all there is left.

I fight for my children.

All five of them who are still here and one who we will see again. And it pisses me off that the America that I inherited as my birthright (24 days after Reagan took his oath of office) is being passed off to my posterity in worse shape than when I received it. I feel a bit like Esau’s son having just discovered that the birthright he so richly deserved was no longer his to hold because his parents had sold it for pittance.

That is why the fight we are in, this ideological struggle, is so intense at times. It is so because it is a true battle between two VERY different ideas of what America should look like for our children.

So, those who scream for civility on one hand just use “civility and tolerance” as a club to oppose dissent.

I believe in rational discourse. But when you are being robbed blind is NOT the time to engage in it.

When debate is necessary, I will debate.

When dissent is necessary, I will dissent.

But when my children are threatened and those we love are hurting…we must fight.

Because, my friend, our inalienable rights are worth fighting for. Because we aren’t guaranteed another breath. Because we aren’t guaranteed that the precious gifts God has given us to watch over will awake in the morning. Because there are things more important than US.

That is why I fight. But that is also why, this weekend, I am going to hug my children more. Be more patient when they interrupt my writing a blog. Teach them about what this weekend really means beyond the picnics, parties, and parades.

BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT REALLY MATTERS (I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments)

-In loving memory of those who have come before and those who we will see again when our fight is over-

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Letters from Home

As many of you know. I am in the National Guard. Well, my little brother just went to basic training. So, my next posts are more likely going to be letters that I will be sending to him. Why? Well, because I know that when I was going through basic it helped me to remember the ideals and inspirations for which I was fighting for and joining in the first place. So, if you would like to send my brother some conservative thoughts. Here is his address:

Echo Co. 3/47 INF(BCTB)

PV2 Martin, Jeremiah D.

Roster #336

5480 Rousch Blvd.

Building #3210

Ft. Benning, GA  31905

 

Here is my first letter to him:

 

Here are five values that I feel are of importance to all conservatives:

Dignity — We value real people over ideas and abstractions, that each life is precious and full of potential.

Liberty – We believe in a Creator-given right to freedom. Freedom to fulfill our potential, at whatever we choose; to build, create, and accomplish. Freedom for parents to raise their kids the best they know how. Freedom for communities to grow and prosper. Freedom for people to worship, speak, and act according to their conscience. Freedom to live and thrive.

Locality — Localize, don’t nationalize. Local government, local control, local choices, local accountability. Good government starts at home, where citizens are best able to participate in government and hold it accountable.

Community — We believe in the good of community and that freedom is the best environment for real and healthy community to form. It’s in the unity of many parts, resting on the harmony of social bonds, and not the uniformity of enforced equality, that makes a community. We believe our traditions–our accumulated wisdom, shared culture, collective identity, and living conversation with the past–deserve a place in our communities. The past is the starting point for the future; a thing to be improved and give direction for improvement. Just as a person cannot function without memory, a community cannot function without tradition.

Family — We believe in the goodness of family and the blessing of children. Strong families help make better people and better communities. The family is the cornerstone of society. 

These values are our foundation. Take care and keep the faith.

-Your Brother

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