(Please read my post before hitting the links. You might want to grab a cuppa; I quote from their last two posts, but if you've never met these guys you are going to want to read more. A lot more.)
I read many, many MilBlogs. I have so many bookmarked that even with the best of intentions I sometimes miss hitting every one of them even weekly. I missed the coming home posts of the Questing Cat and his squaddie/blogpartner the Jersey Cowboy. They have both seen the elephant, and they both return to a world they cherish more than they did before their service.
Cowboy wraps up with this:
A year of my life has passed, and it was like the end of the first book and the beginning of the second. I've "leveled up," to put it in geek terms, and I'm ready for my next adventure. I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you who has been reading this blog; Nick and I both really enjoyed our time here, and I know that my experience in Iraq wouldn't have been what it was without y'all. Whatever God you pray to, may He bless you; mine has blessed me more than I ever thought I deserved. It's been quite a journey. KEEP ROCKIN'!
The words of the Cat always struck a chord with me. Nine out of ten service men in combat seldom look beyond the immediate; Cat looked a little further and I think his feeling of kinship with all those who have served, sweated, and bled before - and his place in our esteem - gave him strength:
I have been your soldier for the span of a few handfuls of words. For a few minutes out of your day I have been the face of the millions that guard your sleep, and the hundred million that secured your right to exist from before you birth to today as you eat breakfast. I have been your grandfather, when he was a foolish young man. The brother, you lost. The son, that returned home. The husband, who never speaks of his nightmares. I am not the one they would have chosen in all cases to be their spokesmen, but that is something I hope time will allow those to forgive me.
What do you think?
Where do we find such men?
Thank you, Specialist Nicholas Cademartori and Specialist Michael A. Cotignola, III, USA. You have bought your place in the history of our grand experiment in liberty. Thank you for going to the shitty, dangerous places so that our lives, and that of our families, might continue to be blessed with the freedom and duties of citizenship that are all too often taken for granted or ignored by so many. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as the duty swung between boredom and horror. Thank you for sharing your dreams. If our comments have been a help to you, please know that they were prompted by the hope you were giving us.
Welcome home, gents. Well done. May God bless you both and fill your lives (and your loves) with warmth, light, and happiness.
Dear reader, did you get that drink? Do you have a few minutes?
Good... very good. Now go here. That's a starting point. How far you go from there is, of course, up to you.
Remember to thank them. It's the very least we can do.