They Don’t Want To Be Called Heroes – Just Doing Their Job

By Paul Larson

MILLBRAE – Is there a title for the type of person who willingly puts their own life at risk to protect their fellow citizens, and foreign strangers alike, here in the U.S. and abroad? Is there a category for those who apply for a job that separates them from their home, for extended periods, with limited or no contact with their family?
What do you call a person who endures weeks of job training that includes building of physical fitness, remolding of character, obeying commands, lack of privacy, miles of running, lack of sleep, tests of skill and stamina, all while being instilled with a sense of honor and decorum? What do you call a person who acts as an ambassador of the United States of America in places all over the world, strives to foster good will with citizens in hundreds of foreign countries while remaining alert for potential attacks from shadowy unforeseen enemies?

Who gladly volunteers to take on all of the above 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? The answer is a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, or any of those who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Those who have fulfilled their active duty and have been discharged from military service are known as Veterans.

Nicknames have been popular for Army Soldiers including Doughboy, Dogface, G.I. Joe and Grunt. Navy Sailors are known as Squids and Swabbies. Marines in the Marine Corps are Jarheads; Airmen in the Air Force are Flyboys; Coasties in the Coast Guard are Puddle Jumpers and Seamen in the Merchant Marine are known as Mariners. None of the above want to be eferred to as heroes since they all insist that they are “just doing their job”.

Nobody wants war. Nobody wants diplomacy to fail. Nobody wants conflict. Unfortunately these are realities of the world we live in and the dangers we need to be attentive to. Fortunately though we have individuals who have a calling to serve their country and defend the rights and freedoms we cherish as Americans.

As a country we all want to be seen as a positive example to the world, we want to strive to be our best as Americans, and we want to do what is right, but nobody is perfect. With that in mind, look at other parts of the world where frightened inhabitants risk it all to escape from their homelands. They don’t have the freedoms or security we all take for granted, which exist mostly in part because of those who serve, and have served, in our U.S. Military.

Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served in uniform. Take a moment that day to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many who were called upon to help keep our country safe and strong.

To conclude I thank our friend and local attorney Paul Constantino for inspiring me to write this article. Paul is a U.S. Army Veteran, and his daughter now serves in the U.S. Army overseas. On November 11th let’s think about all of our Veterans, active military and those who were injured or gave their lives while “just doing their job”.

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