UPDATE 9/27, 2013: Today I rekindled my RedState membership. After the disappointment of the 2012 elections, I let my blogging and political social media go, and took a breather. I have had to square myself with my belief that my God is in charge, and His plan is perfect. Because it sure doesn't look like it on the surface. I could trust Him, or not. I choose to trust Him. I understand that our country and world will undergo much pain and anguish, due to our turning from Him. It is a broken world. But all this will happen as part of a perfect plan where he gathers 100% of His children to Him in the end. Who am I to second-guess Him? I will pray that our hearts will turn back to our loving God. I will pray that we will trust him, and not the world, and not our eyes. And I will continue to fight. And I will continue to pray for Godly leaders to work as His agents here on Earth. And I will thank Him for those who serve. Thank you Ted Cruz. Thank you Mike Lee. Thank you Jim DeMint. Thank you God for these men and others, who will fight. Tonight, on my return to my "post", I came back across my old post and see - these men are living "Acts of Valor".
Originally published 3/11/2012: Took my wife to see the movie Act of Valor Saturday evening as part of our "date night". This movie originally started out as a fifteen-minute recruiting video, and grew into the full-length movie that we saw tonight. While it celebrates the best of military service and sacrifice for God and country, I think we dishonor our heroes if we leave the story as a celebration of "their" sacrifice, without challenging our own.
I guess we all know people who distrust or dismiss law enforcement and military types. I'm not that guy. I'm grateful and supportive. All my life I've been surrounded by friends with dads who served. The fathers/step-fathers of my circle of friends in high school looked like: B52 pilot, F4 "Wild Weasel" pilot (2), CHP officer, Barstow PD, San Bernardino County Sheriff, Air Force mechanic, etc. In college my close friends included ones who went on to be Air Force Pilots, Navy Pilots, and one who went on to pilot the Space Shuttle twice.
I tried to fly Navy, applying for AOCS during college. I aced the written and thought I was on my way, then was rejected for a heart murmur that I didn't even know I had. The Air Force didn't want to deal with it either. And that is the closest I got to personal military service. I liked the idea of serving my country, but I have to admit that my willingness to serve in the military at that time was tied to the job description. I can say that my appreciation for those who serve has not wavered. I love the military and law enforcement. They are some of the people I most like having in my "tribe". Certainly I get along better with and want to be around those who love America, and who will fight to defend her. As Jesus said in John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
In this way, Act of Valor is a love story. A story of professional warriors, the "best of the best", who will do whatever it takes (WIT) to complete the mission in service of God and country, up to and including "laying down his life for his friends". This movie will not get accolades in Hollywood. But it was more than adequate as a reminder of the magnitude of Seals' service, and the debt of gratitude that we owe to the men and women who serve and the God who has provided for us in this way.
My thoughts and pulse were both racing as this movie ended. I needed the whole credit roll at the end to let go of the stress and weight that had built during the movie. Gratitude was the dominant feeling. But there were others. Anger that we will pay in blood and treasure in another act of terrorism because we do not take our domestic security seriously. Disgust that the "leadership" too often does not back the troops, throwing them under the bus as soon as controversy arises.
But here is the transition. From "their" sacrifice, to ours. Most RedStaters are here because of love of God and country, in the desire to be of service to the nation politically. Some of us, maybe many, previously served in the armed forces. Some still do. God bless you all for the sacrifices that you have made. But again, I think we dishonor our heroes if we leave this story as a celebration of "their" military sacrifice, without challenging our political sacrifice. Your nation and military need professional warriors in the political corps as much as they need them on the battlefield. Warriors who will do WIT to complete the mission of securing freedom and the pursuit of happiness for ourselves and our posterity. When we fail, we allow the trashing of our Constitution by our government. When we fail, we allow the media and politicians to lie without challenging their falsehood. When we fail, we task our military without ensuring their success. So you see, one class of service cannot exist without the other. If we are to honor our country and our military (remember much has been given to you), then our political service must be honorable and sacrificial as well (much will be expected). Are your politicians serving sacrificially? Showing Acts of Valor? Are you?
Some associated good reading:
- Lone Survivor by Petty Officer 1st Class Marcus Luttrell - Seal fortitude and sacrifice.
- A Table in the Presence by Lt. Carey H. Cash - God at work on the battlefield.