Thursday, August 06, 2015

A soldier’s farewell to the service (from his Facebook page)

Tomorrow morning will be the final day I lace up my boots and put on my Air Force uniform. I have now served my country in uniform for 14 years but it is time to go.

As I was out-processing today my wife (who will be leaving service next month) and I were asked numerous times "Why don't you just stay in one more enlistment for your retirement?"

It was somewhat difficult to answer with just on...e reason as to why I have decided to take off the uniform. Was it the pay and benefits? No not really (Even though I make less than $15 a hour which many people think the minimum wage should be!) Was it all the deployments? Ummmmm sorta of (I have been deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia just to name a few in addition to about 25 other countries)but I love my country and would always give my life defending this great nation for my family and friends.

So I just wanted to share a couple thoughts with all of you while I sit here thinking about my final day in uniform which will come at 0630 tomorrow morning. I currently am an AMMO troop. Our mission is to build bombs and process numerous other munitions to take the fight to the enemy. We pretty much put "Warheads on Foreheads!" But what I signed up for many years ago has changed dramatically. Even though our mission is to kill, we are more worried about upsetting someone’s feelings versus getting the mission done. We spend more time doing ancillary training then actually training. Even though I have a military drivers license I have to be signed off in another database to drive a vehicle and then have a competency card saying I know how to drive on top of that. That is just a few examples of why I have decided to call it quits.

And then we get to the bigger issue America. Can anyone tell me what the following names mean? Thomas Sullivan, Skip Wells, Carson Holmquist, David Wyatt, or Randall Smith? Or is this easier for you, Cecil the lion or Caitlyn Jenner? Yes we give more attention and respect to stars and animals then we do to those who continue to give their lives for this country.

I have met my greatest friends in the military. I have left home for months not knowing if I would return. I have written letters to my family just in case something happened to me while at war. I have looked war in the face and have taken the fight to the enemy. I have watched grown men cry and sat in the middle east wondering how big my kids were getting and how my beautiful wife was doing.

So would I do it again? Absolutely! But we as Americans need to realize what is going on and return to the greatest nation we used to be! If we as a society don't toughen up and grow thick skin then we will definitely loose the battle to those who wish ill will upon us. Perception is reality, and right now we are more scared of speaking our mind and hurting someone’s feelings versus doing the right thing.

In closing 99% of America knows Cecil the Lion and Caitlyn Jenner. Only 1% will know the other 5 names (4 Marines and 1 Sailor) who gave their lives in Chattanooga TN at the hands of an terrorist!

So tomorrow I will lace up the boots head into work shake a few hands and be on my way. Its been one hell of a ride. To all those I have met along the way I say "Thank You for your Service". To my brothers and sisters overseas right now "God Speed" and I will drink a beer for you all. Continue to put Warheads on Foreheads and you will continue to be in our prayers each and every night.

God bless America!


Mandi Shere said...

I am very touched to see this farewell letter being shared as I was very touched by this man's profound dedication to his country; while I pray for the reasons his heart was brought to him questioning his continued service along, with is wife's.
If I may suggest, out of respect and consideration for this soldier's heartfelt words, that you consider to edit your blog to credit this letter with the soldier's name; they are his heartfelt words after all. In understanding of how these things can be passed and shared, I realize that his name may have slipped out of such traffic.

I have, however, been fortunate enough to have read his letter from his own Facebook wall. This soldier's name is "Kris Grogan".

With appreciation, and respect,
Mandi Shere


Norma said...

Thank you for the suggestion, and for adding his name. I too read his actual FB page rather than seeing it passed around. There are so many fake stories floating around, I wanted to be sure it was real, so I read several he'd written. Because his wife was still in the military, I decided not to include his name. I noticed this letter had over 250,000 shares, so I suppose I shouldn't have been so careful, since he didn't seem to mind. But now you've added it, so perhaps you know them.