I believe that the United States Military is a team of superheroes, larger than any fictional movie could ever portray. The men and women of our military are the heroes of the world. Our Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force stand ready to fight for any individual, country, or continent. They serve selflessly and sacrifice all that they have for the good of others, asking for nothing more than a piece of paper and a pen to write their loved ones back home.
I am approaching the one year anniversary of my marriage to a superhero. Two months after getting married, my husband left to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since John’s deployment I have endured what I like to call, “the silent ranks”. I serve Operation Iraqi Freedom from the home front, as a proud military wife.
Each day my husband wakes up and puts on his uniform. The gear that John hauls around everyday weighs nearly as much as he does, depending on how far and long he will leave his FOB(foreign operating base). The longer he will be gone, the more he will take with him.
He goes out on missions not knowing if he will return, or worse yet for him, who won’t be coming back with him. He carries his friends off the battle field, along with their gear, his still on his back. When he makes it back to the FOB he prepares for a funeral and waits for the next of kin to be notified so that he can call me and say once again, “I love you baby, I’m still here.”
After being a superhero to countless others, John still holds our family together from miles away. He wakes up each day and does it all over again, hoping to save someone’s life, or get much needed medical help to the next civilian caught in the middle of the religious battle ground that we call Iraq.
I miss my superhero everyday. What keeps me going is imagining him as someone else’s superhero. An innocent Iraqi man, woman, or child waits to see John outside their door; their superhero is there to save the day.
There is nothing that a superhero can’t or won’t do to improve the world he lives in. Real-life superheroes are not perfect by any means, they cannot lift a bus, or hear the cry of a random victim miles away, but they hear our world’s most silent cries. Being a superhero means sacrificing yourself for the good of others for nothing in return. A superhero is simply a good person, doing good things and thinking nothing of it.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.