22 July 2004

You are not forgotten....

That phrase means more to me than any other saying. 

I was in a patients room just now taking his vitals, and he looks at my wrist and asks, "Is that a POW/MIA bracelet?," and I said "Yes sir."  He told me "Thanks" and I felt the tears well in my eyes.  The words "You Are Not Forgotten" are just that, words.  But the meaning and presence behind them is so powerful that it touches you to the core, or me at least.  To think that someone would endure the hardships of being a POW for over 40 years, or for a family of a member who is missing in action.  It just overwhelms me and thats why I wear this bracelet.  To remember my fallen or missing comrades, who paid the ultimate price, so that people can do the things they do. 

"HMC Michael L. LaPorte, USN, 1st Recon Div. 1st Mar Div.  Missing: Sept. 5, 1967"

Thats the name on my bracelet.  To me it's more than a name, its a symbol of what a true hero is.  I can't honestly say whether or not I'd be able to endure in thse situations.  I'd like to think I would, however without truly being there I cannot really say for sure.   All I know is that I just do my job and am able to go home at night and sleep restfully, because someone out there stands on a wall for me.  When I came home from being on the USNS Comfort, people were calling me a hero.  I had to whole heartedly disagree to their face with them.  I said "I'm not a hero, I just did my job.  The guys who are still over there are the ones who are heroes.  The guys who'll never see their wives again, the ones who will never hold their newborn child, those are the real heroes."  And you could see the expression change on their face instantaneously.  I am proud of what I do, helping others and providing medical aid.  But in what way does that make me a hero?  Thats my question to everybody....

So I dedicate this to all my fallen and missing brothers...You will NEVER be forgotten!