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Before I Forget…

by Josh Walker Beavers about a year ago in family
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The Soldier is My Shield

I didn’t post anything about Memorial Day. Cause I think I just took it for granted. There was a pool and a hamburger for me. Hot dogs to commemorate a soldiers death. A bass boat or a movie.

That’s Memorial Day to Americans in 2021. I’m just Like most of us. We all have this idea of our world. The world is huge. But we make it so small. In our idea of the world it’s us at the Center. That’s ok. People tell you when you grow that you aren’t the center of the universe. That’s crap. You are the center of your universe. Your problems are the most important. When it comes right down to it, all that most of us care about is what’s happening to us. Got a flat tire on your way to a job interview? That’s a bigger problem to you than someone who’s got a family member dying of cancer. It’s true. It’s human. And it sucks. We don’t really care about the blood diamonds in Africa so long as we can buy that stud or ring or anniversary present.

But the soldier, well the soldier doesn’t wrap problems in a box and put it away. The soldier says mine is empty because it has to be. My heart has to be open because other people need me. Negotiations and petty politics. Demoagues and Twitter. What we do, the crap we consume ourselves with, it doesn’t matter. Bread and circuses. Comfortable living and pop tarts. But the soldier, well the soldier sees that other world we pretend (or maybe just are so obtuse enough to not know) doesn’t exist.

I’ve seen death in my day and I’ve seen politicians and parasites. But not like the soldier. All that keeps the real world at bay from the soft folk like me, and maybe you, is the soldier. The ones pulling the kids out of the desert warfare after hellfire rains. So I didn’t say anything about Memorial Day because I didn’t even think about it. That’s the American Way, that’s the human way, ignore and forget. But today, because of Hollywood - a damn movie - I remember. But I’ll forget. We all do. Except the soldier.

The soldier doesn’t forget because it’s the soldiers life. It not Netflix for him or her. They don’t close the box and push it away under the bed. The soldier is there and always will be. Why? Because while we care about Frosted Flakes and football, baseball and Bitcoin, the soldier dies in the frozen fields and fire of the desert wastes. Such is the way of us who pretend evil doesn’t exist. And evil isn’t the liberal or the conservative. It’s not Barack Obama or Donald Trump. Stop thinking so small. Real evil Exists. And the soldier lives it.

So not on Memorial Day but on a random Saturday night when a notion struck me, I say thank you to the soldier - the politicians tool, the fat man’s protector. I’ll likely forget with an hour as our problems take precedence. We are the center of our universes no matter how little water they contain (shallow). But I know, even if I won’t remember, that the soldier is there. So thank you. And forgive us for the way we are. You are the best of us. And the best of us always do their job without much thought. And that is why, the most important reason why, you exist. Thank you my protector. And that’s all I can say about that.

-30-

family

About the author

Josh Walker Beavers

I teach at a small map dot on a black top in Louisiana.

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