Dave K. sent along this:
Very nice reflection on the Fukushima Fifty heroes. That's something all of us should hear about, but you're right, unfortunately it's not deemed "news-worthy" most of the time. Or if it is, it's all too easily drowned out by the "real" news of the day. In this "me-first" society, I wonder how many here would make the same choice, day after day, to go back into that reactor. Is it something we think about, or does this all just make for another entertaining read in the comfort of our homes, perhaps a topic of conversation like who won the baseball game last night.Kristi included this moving passage in her email:
This story, along with your post, reminds me of Pat Tillman's life. Amongst the chorus of praise for what his sacrifice meant for our country, there was an unmistakable undertow of sentiments harbored by those that thought he was just caught up in the moment of wartime, and made a rash decision. Nothing could be further from the truth. The more we hear stories such as these, though, the more we realize that these heroes are no different than us. They're just ordinary people who make extraordinary choices when their time comes, and then carry out that choice with pride and honor. And it muffles those like Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen, in whom we really find no semblance of ourselves at all. It's a shame it takes a story like this to do that though.
I have a very close friend that spent time in Iraq, and has now returned to the states, injured and psychologically affected. He completed his four year tour as a combat medic in the front lines, responsible for the health of 31 men below him. He has seen places, injuries, horror, and death, all of which I could never possibly imagine. While there, he lost some of his good friends, right before his eyes. He has described very little to me about his experience, but what he has told me gives me chills down my spine.Good thoughts.
He says this...'soldiers sometimes return from war with depression and nightmares of their friends dying along side of them. Now imagine me, as a medic. Not only is my friend dying along side of me, but it is my job to save him. And when I can't, I feel that I have failed, and it is my fault that he has not lived.'
Wow. How can I even respond to a statement like that, with no true idea of the feelings of disappointment, anger, and extreme sadness that it describes. How can I make him realize that he did save some of his friends' lives, that he is not responsible for those deaths, and that he cannot blame himself forever? How can I make him see the true hero that lies inside of him? The admiration and awe that he gives to people like me who recognize and truly value what he has done, what he has seen, and the risks he took to protect those he loved?
He risked his life to save others, and although he didn't lose his life in the physical sense, psychologically he will never be the same. HE IS A HERO, and he can't slam dunk, carry a tune, or even THINK about acting in front of a camera. People like him and the Fukushima Fifty are what American needs to idolize, not those lucky enough to climb themselves to the top with some mutant vocal cords and a pretty face.