Requital by Stacey Johnston EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Stacey Johnston
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available for Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
As a child, my father’s favorite saying was, ‘heroism isn’t something that
only occurs during a moment of glory.’ It was his impression of the Mary
Roach quote, which, when summarized, means that heroism doesn’t
necessarily only happen amid the course of glorified battles. It can also be
determined by the smallest achievements or those with the biggest hearts.
Why did he refer to this with such passion, you ask?
Because my father was part of the anti-war movement back in the sixties,
and he firmly believed that the efforts made by the anti-war enthusiasts were
heroic. His opinion was that the US’ presence in Vietnam was far too costly
from an economic and humane perspective. He would tell anyone who would
listen how the money spent only fueled the violence and the devastation left
in its wake.
My father and I had very differing opinions regarding the safety and
security of our nation, which became overtly obvious when I joined the
Marines. I agreed with my father when he drunkenly rambled that the
Vietnamese were fighting a patriotic war because, in their eyes, that’s
precisely what they were doing. They wanted to rid themselves of any foreign
influences, and for the most part, I understood why, yet the US’ initial
involvement was to only provide aid against the threat of the Viet Cong.
What I didn’t agree with was his support for the hippie movement. They
may have supported the civil rights movement and the fight to end the
Vietnam War, but that’s where their involvement ceased. Ever the free-loving
kind of person, they chose peace over protest, which seemed pointless to a
juvenile version of me. Why get involved in a fight if you are only going to
stand on the fringe of the circle, watching?
I can vividly remember the last time I saw my father.
At the time, my buddy Antony Valentine and I had been stationed in
Afghanistan, but my CO granted me leave because my father was on his
deathbed. While I wore that uniform, my father refused to see me, so when I
arrived at the hospital, he made the nurses turn me away. His opinion never
swayed even as he was dying, and although I disagreed, I respected him for
it. It wouldn’t be long after my father’s death that Antony and I put in for our
discharge from the Marines and applied to the CIA instead.
Before retiring entirely from the CIA, which I can assure you was no easy
feat, my judgment was impaired, much like many of my brothers in arms. We
firmly believed heroism was deemed by the extremity of how we saved lives
and the risks we exposed ourselves to.
Since retiring, I’ve had time to sit and watch, and I now understand how
wrong my opinions on that subject have been. Since removing my rosecolored glasses, I now understand my father’s belief that heroism can be
classified by multiple acts, both large and small.
I suppose you’re wondering why the sudden reflection and interest in
heroism. That’s something I’ve also been pondering myself lately. Maybe it’s
because I have Emily, Sumner, Tatum, and Abigail in my life. Whatever the
reason, it’s made me more aware of my surroundings and the daily good
deeds performed by strangers.
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