Cassi Creek: My friend, Paul Scotton, sent me his good wishes for Veterans’ Day. He attached a graphic he found, thinking it would amuse me.
He’s right, it does amuse me.
Since becoming a world power, the U.S. soldier has presented a strong presence to the world. The long line of men and women who made up the previous generations of our armed forces have cast a larger than life shadow in many desperate battles around the globe. We’ve earned that larger shadow with our bodies and our lives, and those of our friends and families. Then we’ve done what all soldiers do, we’ve aged, we’ve gained weight, we’ve acquired diseases that sap our strength and willpower.
Our bodies have let us down. But the image we see in the mirror when we look to be sure that we’re still there is only one of two images. We see the older people with gray hair and deep wrinkles. We see the tremors and feel the loss of balance.
There remains another image. Like the man at the WWII monument, we still see the shadow we cast when we were soldiers. We’ve lost our durability but we’ve not lost the bits of self that allowed us to see who we had to be