Service and Sacrifice
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." - George S. Patton
I served in the U.S. Marines. Additionally, I did 15 years in fire-rescue and flew EMS long before it was HAA (helicopter air ambulance). In the last five years, I have done several mission trips to countries like Haiti and Costa Rica in the service of others. Honestly, it’s not a conscious philosophy I chose. I didn’t plan it. Service just seems to be something I gravitate toward.
I write that only to say that every year at this time, especially around Memorial Day, I get all patriotic and soft-hearted about those who have served, or are currently serving their country or communties.
Just this weekend, we were on a friend’s boat with several other families enjoying a river with at least 100 other boats, also filled with people enjoying the outdoors. Occasionally, cops would be seen patrolling the area by boat and just their mere presence was enough to keep the peace. Some people saw a cop on the beat looking for trouble-makers. I saw service and sacrifice.
It was in that moment that I was thinking about how different things might be if not for people who sacrificed their all on the battlefield, or on the streets, so that we have the freedoms, the peace, the rights, and the opportunities we have.
I am so thankful for all the servants out there. Especially those who serve in the military, law enforcement, and fire-rescue. Every one of those professions runs the risk of paying the ultimate price. For you Game of Thrones fans out there, they’re the “protectors of the realm.”
Aside from those who made the ultimate sacrifice, sacrifice comes in so many other forms by our nation’s servants. Psychological scars, injury, disease, and simple things like missing time with family while on duty are all part of the job for most of our nation’s servants.
In this issue of Rotorcraft Pro, which will be distributed at the Airborne Public Safety Conference (APSCON), we salute our federal, local, and state airborne law enforcement officers who not only serve and protect us, but also keep ground-based officers safe while performing hard work on our streets and borders. In this May-June issue, we also highlight two agencies—one federal and one local—that use aircraft and diverse skills to protect citizens from crime and harm. On page 36 we’ve created a multimedia feature that includes video, that explores how the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Ops utilized aircraft over the skies in and around Super Bowl LIII, one of the world’s largest sporting events, to enforce the TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) that was placed on the event’s surrounding airspace.
Although my high-risk servant days are mostly over, I have to agree with old “blood and guts” Patton: I won’t mourn the men who died serving our country and citizens; I’ll thank God that such men lived.