Shadows are like memories, they linger in between darkness and light. We can see them, but they are untouchable. In 1992, I had made up my mind to be a soldier. After graduating from high school, I did just that. Seen the world, all the good and the bad. Experienced breathtaking moments and horrific ones too. It all changes you, alters your perception on life. Combat is great transformer of one's essence. The wounds of flesh are not as deep as the one's on your soul and I have both, plenty but still not as much as others. I have seen so much death, but all the same I have witnessed lives being saved and boys becoming men through the crucible of war. I was the Creature, a crazed warrior, with that I have the scars that tell the tales of endurance. I have bern weak, hindered by the wickedness. Anguish dictated my behavior, temptation controlled my spirit. Death was calling ... I did not answer ... Instead I turned upwards and to those that truly were there for me. I found strength from the struggle, used it as fuel, burned away the pain and restored more than what was lost ... but those shadows still remain, so I fight on. Every year, more Brothers are lost, succumbed to this affliction, this wound and I feel I failed them, knowing that I have dedicated my life to sharing that Hope is possible, that we can rise up from the ashes and become victorious over our personal demons, even though they're always creeping, we can battle strong.
Today is July 22, do some buddy checks, actually call or better yet, show up in person to the veterans in your life. They are going to say they are fine, but they're not. Be there for them, make a difference, save lives. Let's be the Light that wards of the shadows and ignites the FIRE within.
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