Friday, December 30, 2005

Magnifying A Marine

Tricia, her mom, and I went to Red Lobster for dinner last night. Towards the end of our evening there I noticed a young man, likely late teens or early twenties (but definitely college age), sitting with his family. He was all decked out in his Marine dress uniform. Louisville, a quite liberal town, has been pretty vocal in the media and among local activists in their opposition (I should say unreasonable antagonism, but that would still be too nice) to the military action of the past four years. My heart, for some unknown reason, went out to this young man for being bold enough to go out in public in full dress. Likely he was on holiday leave, and more likely had not yet served overseas. But in that moment, I clearly felt led to do something. As we left, I sauntered over to his table, and said, "Excuse me. Are you in the military?" He nodded his head and said yes, not quite sure what I was doing. I admit I wasn't quite sure what I was doing either. But I continued. "I want to thank you for serving. Your folks must be extremely proud of you. You are right where God wants you to be, and don't you let anyone tell you different!" I shook his hand, thanked his parents, and excused myself and left. The smile that blossomed on this young man's face just plain made my day. You should have seen his parents and the young girl sitting next to him, they were just beside themselves. I didn't stick around to see how much they reacted, that would have been crass and rude. That was their moment to be proud of their Marine. Think about what I just did. I did something very unpopular. I praised our military by thanking that young man. Our media and liberal activists do the exact opposite. They do everything they can to degrade our military, cloaking it all the while in the word "patriotism." Hogwash. And that's being polite. It's not even worthy of a cuss word, so I won't ask certain friends to provide one. What it is, plain and simple, is hatred. Would you really want to send this young man off to war with anything less than a heart full of gratitude and purpose in that we have thanked him for serving? That he is right where God wants? I shudder to think that some idiot might tell him otherwise and demoralize him just as he's facing enemy fire. He could die because that idiot has caused him to doubt. Think about this. If you are that idiot, and this kid dies, you have just deprived two parents and a beautiful young lady of an honorable young man with his whole life ahead of him. That's right, I am holding YOU personally responsible. The adjectives I could use to describe you at that point would not be very nice. So let's take a moment to thank God for all the young men and women like the young man I met at Red Lobster. And maybe, the next time you see a soldier in uniform, walk up to him or her and thank them and praise God for them. Give them a sense of pride and purpose. Amen.

1 Comments:

Blogger Shane Morgan said...

Stephen,
I love this post! Thank you for sharing it with the world.

Sincerely,
Shane Morgan

12/30/2005 10:26:00 PM  

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