November 26, 2005


(more guest blogging)
I was having lunch with my close, personal friend Madonna yesterday at a Taco Bell in Tampa before we had to rush off to the Cirque du Soleil show when she said, "Man, those metal cone bras took their toll over the years. My back hurts all the time now."

It made me think.

Often we see the outside of things and think that tells us what is going on inside, but we never really know what those outside signs mean, and whether they are a mask for some inner pain. When not in BDUs we see soldiers with their upper left chest a display of colorful ribbons. For the most part we civilians look at that and assume quantity is quality. The patterns and hues are a mystery to most of us and we hope to decipher but end up being as confused as someone trying to determine if the snake that just bit is a coral or king. Some are indicators of attendance. Others are indicators of true excellence and valor. But they are all indicative of a story, sometimes good, sometimes bad. And keep in mind some of our fighting men and women choose to only wear a few if any of those medals they've earned.

As we were reminded in our most recent national election, not all medals are necessarily awarded for the same reason, either, and there were periods of medal inflation. But be comfortable in this bit of knowledge: almost every single person who put on a uniform and swore an oath did so knowing he or she would be giving up a part of their lives for a greater good. They aren't perfect beings, but I will wager any day that you will find more worthwhile people in their midst than in just about any other mix. Have you been to Walmart today to shop?

Sometimes the ribbon is not the only thing they came away with. Sometimes it's a piece of shrapnel or a limp that will be with them long after the uniform is folded and put away. It's worth taking the time to get to know someone like that. Learn from him, if you can.

That Maddy, she really makes me reflective sometimes.

Posted by at November 26, 2005 04:04 PM @ 04:04 PM in Political Punts // Permalink | TrackBack