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The Real Heroes Didn’t Make It Home

A father recently brought his daughter to visit Washington D.C. to see the National Mall and the various monuments throughout the city.  During a stop at the Vietnam Memorial, a man in full dress uniform decorated with medals stood by a wall.  This girl turned to ask her father, “daddy is that man a hero?”  Curious, the father replied, “let’s go find out.”  A few minutes later, this girl pulled on this stranger’s arm, “excuse me sir, are you a hero?”  Pausing for a moment, this solider responded, “No, the real heroes didn’t make it home.”

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” Mark 10:45.

In response to the horrific events of September 11th, 2001, Pat Tillman was cut to the heart.  As a member of the Arizona Cardinals, this rising star in the National Football League felt compelled to serve his country.  Thus, in 2002 Pat Tillman retired from professional football to enlist in the United States Army.  After basic training, Tillman joined the Army Rangers serving several tours of combat while serving overseas.  Unfortunately, Pat Tillman was killed during an incident in the mountains of Afghanistan.  This hero never made it home alive.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” Joshua 24:15.

Last week, the National Football League introduced one of their new rules changes for the 2018-2019 season.  After a series of players began to kneel during the National Anthem last season, fans began to boycott causing a drastic decline in viewership.  Thus, owners decided to fine players in the future for kneeling as all players must now stand.  Players can opt to remain in the locker room until after the anthem is completed if they wish.  Perhaps, some of these millionaires need to be reminded of Pat Tillman’s story.  The least these current athletes can do is honor and respect one of their own.  As the United States of America celebrates Memorial Day, make sure that you remember that most of the real heroes never make it home alive.

by Jay Mankus


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