The Fearful Soldier

As a lot of you know, Monday, May 28th was Memorial Day. the day to honor those who have died in the Great Wars and Peace-time conflicts. Soldiers who have served in WW1 and 2, Desert Shield, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Iraq/Iran. Soldiers who have helped keep our country and our allies free. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I remember the story my father told me…

 

There was once a great battle, many soldiers were called to arms, and some snuck their way in. Older teens and young adults, all lined up in a row. When they had lined up and faced their drill sergeant, the sergeant asked them a simple question.

 

“Are you afraid?”

 

The sergeant went through the line, asking each of the soldiers. They all responded with “Sir No, Sir!” and stood at attention. But when the sergeant came to the last soldier, he responded,

“Sir, Yes, Sir!” and stood at attention. The rest of the line laughed before cowering under the sergeant’s gaze. The sergeant asked why, and the soldier replied,

 

“Sir, I am not afraid, no, I’m terrified. I have a wife and two daughters at home. I live in a tiny town that has always had the same people every day. I don’t want that to change.  We are about to be sent into the line of fire and be continually shot at, some of us aren’t going to make it, I know that. You ask me if I’m afraid, Yes, I’m terrified, but I’m willing to go anyway because I want my girls to live a life that every American takes advantage of, freedom.”

 

The soldier looked up, to see tears in the sergeant’s eyes, as well as the rest of the line. The soldier smiled in gratitude.

 

Little would the soldier know, that the next memorial day, he would be remembered as an “Unknown Soldier” during the service that his family attends, the letter they received only reading three letters, M.I.A.

 

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