War will teach you what you are made of, so the saying goes. We see numerous holidays that honor the Military’s fallen and living – November 11, Veteran’s Day is coming next week. Leftists could care less about our nation’s heroes, whether Military, Police, or even private citizens who have gone above and beyond to save lives. They want to destroy, not save. So let’s take the story of Sgt First Class (SFC) Ronald Madsen and use it as an example of why heroes matter.
SFC Ronald Madsen and his unit of joint US and Afghan Special Forces were tasked with clearing the Mohmand Valley in southern Nangarhar, Afghanistan. As night fell, the men found a building that they believed would serve as shelter from the enemy fire that had plagued them all day. But as soon as they occupied the building, a devastating explosion occurred that wounded over 30 of them and killed 4. Madsen himself was struck with the concussive blast and shrapnel. All of that occurred as ISIS-K fighters pounded their position.
“Recognizing the perilous situation and despite his wounds, Madsen directed the U.S. Infantry soldiers around him to return fire with every weapons system at their disposal. Madsen crawled and pulled his way into one of the task force vehicles and squeezed into the turret. He took control of a MK19 automatic grenade launcher and delivered punishing suppressive fire on the emboldened ISIS-K fighters. Once that weapon emptied, he picked up a light machine gun, and engaged enemy positions until again he ran out of ammunition. Then, he put a MK14 grenade launcher into action. By now, his fellow soldiers had organized themselves, and the volume of fire they were delivering matched their leader’s. Madsen’s courageous and determined example inspired the limited number of troops who were not already wounded or rendering aid to violently strike back at their attackers, ultimately suppressing the threat long enough for the medical evacuation helicopters to load the most critical patients.” University of Utah/Veteran’s Day
Why Heroes Matter
For his actions that day, SFC Ronald Madsen was awarded the Silver Star and three purple hearts. Choosing to take risks against all the odds is the hallmark of a hero. Heroes aren’t always rewarded, in fact, many times they are ignored. A hero is not the person who wins a football game, nor are they the comic book heroes of yesteryear. They are a special breed who – at great risk to their own lives – will step into the fray and do what is necessary to save lives. The aftermath is often devastating – from severe injuries to death, and nearly always emotional trauma of one sort or another.
There are different kinds of “war,” of course. Our reactions, our responses are what reveal what we are “made of” in the midst of it. Without the real heroes in our lives, there is little to make us hopeful. A hero is at that point compassionate for the well-being of their fellow humans … and that is the reason that heroes matter.
“The most devastating part of war is living through a battle when your friends did not. Fighting is the easy part, but looking into the eyes of the families who’s loved ones gave their life is the hardest battle you could ever face. War brings out the best and worst in people. The kindness and empathy you see in battle I can’t put into words.” SFC Ronald Madsen
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