Sunday, August 18, 2019

Courage Worth Striving For Essay -- Personal Narrative War Strength Pa

Courage Worth Striving For Placing one foot in front of the other, I climbed the twisted, broken down staircase of the Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. The year was 1973, and I didn't want to be on these stairs, growing closer and closer to an unknown world that frightened me. I didn't want to witness the things I inevitably would see and hear throughout the next few hours. Can I really handle this? I thought to myself. It didn't really matter anymore. As a medic in the Vietnam Era, and I had soldiers depending on me to tend to their wounds and care for their injuries. As I neared the top, I gained sight of a heavy, thick, white door with a window in the center of it. What was on the other side of that door? I knew there was pain, suffering, and dying. For a moment, I thought about the men who had managed to survive thus far and who were now lying in hospital beds severely injured and bedridden, completely dependent on the care that was given to them. These men had wives, children, and other family members wishing desperately they would recover from the wounds they had encountered in Vietnam and return to life as they knew it before the war. Some of these men would never return to life as they had known it previously, with the reality of amputation and other life-altering treatments taking place as a customary and common practice. I wondered if I was prepared for this. The self-inflicted weight on my shoulders grew progressively heavier step by step. Those same family members hoping their loved ones would live had me to put their trust in. Me. As a trained medic, I was confident that I had the head knowledge I needed to treat the soldiers that had been flown in from Vietnam, as long as I wasn't distra... this story did not cause me to become a pacifist and reject the concept of war completely. I realize how horrendous war is, especially after hearing about my father's patient in room twelve. However, I feel it is even more appalling to ignore situations that are worse than war, such as the situation in Germany that evoked World War II. It is my belief that soldiers who have seen war value peace more than any pacifist because they know the cost. I now view my own life differently. If that soldier could speak again, I would imagine his message would be to take each day not as a guarantee, but as a gift. After hearing my father's story, my advice is this- do not take life for granted. You never know when you will be forced to find a new depth of strength you never even imagined you possessed and surrender your life for your cause, your beliefs, or your country.

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