In my last post I spoke about that american hero known as the Average G.I. Joe. We iconinize them. We lift them up as having done something that enables the rest of us to sleep better at night. And for the most part they should be. But there is another Joe that does not receive the glory he should. He is Average Joe. He is the man who for what ever reason has the heart of the warrior but never goes to war.
He serves his country in a way that is just as valuable. What would our country be like if the farmer got up and left his fields to go to war instead of harvest corn. What would our country be like if the assembly line worker went to war and did not build the planes our soldiers need. What would our towns look like if all of our fathers donned uniforms and bullet proof vests and went off to live and die in foreign lands. Who would father our children. Who would fix our cars. Who would keep the gears of industry moving? Equality does not mean it renders men unnecessary. And there are women warriors too.
But I write today of the one character in “The Pacific” who did not go to war. The young man with a heart murmur who feels as if he is letting his country down by not serving. We need people like him to serve at home. We need them to keep our economy moving. We need men serving in our towns as much as we need them protecting us in foreign lands.
There is no dishonor to serve your country by working hard and caring for your family. Too many people neglect what they should do for what they want to do. To go and serve your country for a time is honorable.
“The Hurt Locker” ended with the main character leaving his wife and baby son once again, because the only thing that made him feel alive was the thrill and rush of the danger of disarming bombs. It was the only thing that he loved. I thought he was a great fool. He left the adventure of raising his son for the thrill and the drug of battle. He is no better than the drug addict that leaves his child to seek out getting high on the streets. What greater reward is there than to raise your child and be there to craft and mold them along the way. What greater reward can there be then to see your child grow and laugh and play.
To serve because your are called to serve is to bring honor to your name. But service can be done at home as well as abroad. The Average Joe wakes up, puts on his boots and keeps americans wheels turning. He deserves great respect as much as the man who goes to battle. Thank you.