When you’re a kid, a lot of things that are real don’t seem real. War is one of them. Movies and TV shows about war, books and comics about combat, all exist in some place other than “real.” You get some of the emotion maybe, but you don’t really understand the depth of what fighting and sacrifice truly mean.
I first began to realize how much there was to learn when a friend’s older brother died in Vietnam. I was far too young to truly understand what had happened, let alone comprehend how great a sacrifice he and his family had made for our country, but this first shock of realty has stayed with me.
These many years later, I am grateful for his sacrifice, and for all the thousands and thousands of other young men and women, stretching back to the Revolutionary War, who have made my life of freedom possible.
I’ve learned a lot of things over the years, witnessed and felt sacrifice and sorrow myself. I know a lot more about the “real” world and its entertainment analogue. But the willingness of others to give their lives so unselfishly continues to fill me with awe.