Speaking out by pushing up

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska – Upstairs in what used to be the Nintendo room of my childhood home is an old wooden piece of luggage. In it are relics of a period of American History that’s been so fictionalized, I doubt if any kid today really understands the gravity. I sure couldn’t, but at least I had a living link. Grandma Ellen made planes for Beech Aircraft during World War II. Grandpa Roy came up from North Africa to Italy after the Allies turned the tide and pushed back against evil. The suitcase was his, in it are war-era maps of Italy, Nazi stamps and other heavy pieces of history.

I was too young to remember the stories, but I do remember the people. I remember my grandparents who lived what we spend money to watch, then Google to check accuracy. It’s entertainment for us, it was life and news for them.

I often wonder if I have what it takes to willingly put myself in a real battle, not the metaphorical ones we engage in now that we are free to apply those terms to things for which defeat is not total.

A friend of mine tagged me in a viral post to support awareness for Veterans, police officers and first responders struggling with PTSD.

There is not enough than can be done to truly and properly thank and support these men and women, but we have to try.

The reason people can say, “Who’s going to pick a fight with us?” is because we have people waiting to hit back. The reason why the vast majority of the time, the vast majority of us can walk around safely is because we have people upholding a code of conduct. There is a voice that hears us when we cry out. We take time and energy from these people without fully appreciating the stability they provide when things are good and hope when things aren’t.

We criticize police conduct without the benefit of much context but with all the benefit of slow motion replay.

People volunteer to make a living off helping people through trauma. My job is a bouncy house world compared to all of that.

So, the challenge is to do 22 pushups for 22 days and to tag others to spread awareness. I love the idea but I want people to feel it too. What I should do is go out of my way to support people in my community. I’ll do the pushups but the spirit of the movement is to put it into action. Make it a habit, you know? Veterans, police officers and first responders can’t see my Facebook post when I see them at the store.

When two of my buddies from California were up for a bear hunt early in September, a confused tourist inching toward elderly, mistook their hunting gear for a uniform and thanked them for their service. It was a little funny, but touching. She was too young to have served in the War, but she certainly felt connected and more importantly compelled to show her appreciation.

History is terrifying and ugly. Life today is the same for some. We can’t forget or ignore that, and we can’t ignore the people who volunteer to be on the front lines of a reality we only read, watch or post about.

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