Posted on November 13 2019
A Story Of A Marine Sniper
So, before I start this story, I have to tell you that the name of the individual I am speaking about will not be given out for privacy purposes. The details I’m sharing will only be the details I know, which I’m aware is not the entire story, as certain things could not be shared with me. Regardless, I think this story will bring light to some of the things our troops go through.
A close friend of mine was a sniper in the Marines. He happens to be a good friend who owns a local business in our town. If you saw him walking down the road, you’d see a guy standing about 6’2 and covered in tattoos. You’d see a guy that you’d most likely think you wouldn’t want to mess with, but really, he’s one of the nicest and most caring guys you’ll ever meet.
He served in the Marines and was a sniper. He's now disabled due to a severe injury he had overseas. That injury has changed his entire life. He has a pacemaker because of it. I'll never forget...one day he came into our office for something and we were chatting. He was explaining how he served in the military and what his roll was. He explained it a little something like this...he said “when it comes to snipers, there's different positions. Some people have to ask for permission to shoot, and then there's a select few that don’t. I was one of the guys that didn’t have to ask.” Essentially he was saying that there's different levels to the position and he was very high up. He was amazing at what he did.
I'll never forget as he began talking to me about how people don’t realize how much they go through overseas. He began to tell me a story that I will always remember. When he told this story, I remember his eyes beginning to tear up. He said “you know, they can prepare you for war, but how do you prepare for a parent sending their five year old child running at you and your men? How do you make the choice to shoot when you're not 100% sure if that kid has a bomb vest on? At the end of the day, you do what you have to do to protect your men, but you can’t mentally prepare for that.” After telling me this, he quickly wrapped things up and left. I remember sitting in my chair for a few minutes and thinking about what he must be feeling. Imagine a child running at you with a jacket on. You don’t know if he’s coming to say hi or if his parents sent him your way to blow you and your men up. As I type this, it makes me sick to my stomach. How do you go to bed at night after going through that? How do you ever get that out of your head?
Some of us don’t realize that there are people walking around our town right now that have seen things that we could never imagine. They have done things that we could never do. They have invisible scars, PTSD, depression, and some are suicidal. At the end of the day, can you blame them?
We, as a company, want to reach these people and do whatever we can to help them adjust back to civilian life. If that means hiring them and putting them around guys that have gone through similar things to make them feel normal, then so be it. If that means giving money to organizations that specialize in rehabilitating men and woman that have served, then we are all in. There's no greater honor than serving the ones who have served this country, and for people like the man I spoke about above. Thank you. Although we may not know your story, although we may not know what you’ve been through, thank you. Thank you for the sacrifice you made and continue to make, and although at times it may feel like many don’t see it, we do. God bless you.