SPECIALIZING IN YOU
A Soldier’s Sacrifice HONORING THE ARMED FORCES
to civilian life six months before my unit went into Panama in December of ’88. I can’t begin to count myself among the heroes who truly put themselves in harm’s way. But the military awakened me to the enormity of dedication each of these individuals had and the degree to which they were willing to give up everything if it meant the safety and protection of their countrymen. Take the Revolutionary War, for example. Those “rebels” who signed the Declaration of Independence put not only their lives on the line, but their property, the well-being of their families, their honor, and their legacies. It’s no different with the men and women serving this very second in foreign lands all over the world. The Fourth of July, following right after Memorial Day, has had me thinking. There can be no doubt, America is truly a great country, but not just because of democracy, capitalism, and the rule of law. Sure, these concepts are the founding principles of our homeland, and they are a
When I joined the Army back in 1982, I wasn’t looking for anything more than a new challenge. I was a young guy, a fresh college graduate in the midst of a struggling economy, and I needed to find a path to follow. I’d always had a deep respect and admiration for those who protect our country, especially those I knew personally. My grandfather was a B-17 belly gunner who flew many missions over Germany during WWII, and my father was an airplane mechanic in the Air Force during the Korean War. Though I certainly found the challenges I was looking for, I can’t imagine there are many lifestyles more mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing than life in the armed forces during times of war. What I really think I gained was a more acute appreciation of the sacrifices those in the military (including their families) make for their country and for their fellow soldiers.
fantastic, powerful mechanism to promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But I believe that America became great, and continues to be great, because a relatively small percentage of the American people have chosen to be great by sacrificing for the rest of us. “Duty, honor, country” is more than a phrase. What it truly means is “blood, sweat, and tears,” especially for those folks that have been in the horrific throes of combat. Everybody, from politicians to corporations, gives a lot of lip service to veterans today, but unless you’ve been there on the front lines — and I haven’t — we can’t possibly appreciate the sheer magnitude of the sacrifices these soldiers and their families have made for our country. I believe that it’s important that we try, though. Whenever I meet a veteran, I look them right in the eye and give them a firm handshake. I tell them, with sincere gratitude, “Thank you for your service.” America became great, and continues to be great, because a relatively small percentage of the American people have chosen to be great by sacrificing for the rest of us.
I never saw combat. I was in parachute school during the Invasion of Grenada, and I returned
– Brad Johnson
President, Risk Services of AR Specialized Insurance Programs For Specialized Industries. • www.insurica.com • 1
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