When it got about time for Anna be get home from preschool yesterday, I went outside to sit in my red rocking chair on the front porch and wait for her. On the way out the door, I grabbed some light reading in the form of Tony's September issue of Air Force Magazine...hey, I was desperate. I'm so glad I did. As I was flipping through, I found an article listing the 12 2008 winners of the Outstanding Airmen Award. As I read over each of these Airmen's accomplishments, I could only imagine the sacrifices that were made behind the scenes. Mothers, children, wives, days and nights of fear and worry.
When Tony was deployed to Iraq, I stopped reading the paper or watching the news, just to be able to function without losing my mind with worry. (Tony's on the far right.)
But one of the profiles really astounded me. SrA. Shawn Ryan. Being a Senior Airmen, he is most probably in his early 20's. He is a Security Forces Patrolman (a military policeman) at Sheppard AFB in Texas. This is his write-up.
"Earned Army Commendation Medal and Combat Action Badge for his actions during voluntary year-long deployment to Camp Victory in Iraq...continued to help repel enemy attack though wounded, receiving the Purple Heart...provided life-saving buddy care to wounded team member...stopped speeding vehicle-borne IED, killing terrorist...instructed thousands of Iraqi policemen...conducted nearly 200 combat patrols...detected artillery round rigged to explode, preventing injury to troops and damage to assets...shared his M-2 machine gun expertise with team members, provided gunner-down training and enhancing unit's combat capability."
Wow. When most young people are going to college, concerts, hanging out with friends and keeping their own schedules, this young man is being a hero. Literally.
I wish we weren't in Iraq. I wish we weren't in Afghanistan. But no matter what I wish, we are there. And so now we have no choice but to support our troops.
Until everyone comes home.