The Valiant and The Courageous – Warriors

Would you willingly walk into a rain of bullets?

I’d figure your reply would be instant. Of course I won’t, what I am, a fool? After all, only a fool would walk into a rain of bullets when he had a choice not to.

Would I walk into a rain of bullets? Hell, no. I have too many dreams waiting to come true for me to cut my life short and rob me the chance of living my dreams.

But you know what, while you and I may balk at the thought of walking to our deaths, there are those heroes, for that’s the only word worthy of what they do, who take that walk.

Would you live in god-forsaken areas known for horrible topography and even worse climate? Would you live in an area infamous for armed rebellions and frequent combats? Would you take a bullet to save a stranger? Would you . . . ?

I can go on and on with these questions, for they are myriad. But the answers are more or less the same. You’d rather not! At least I wouldn’t. What can I do, but admire those who would?!

By now I am sure you’ve guessed who they are. They’re the unsung heroes. They’re the soldiers. Warriors!

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Service before Self! That is the motto a soldier lives by. And it’s a hard life to live. I’d rather not go philosophical, but allow me to take on the sentimental. I’d say that these folks are extraordinary despite of being ordinary, if you get what I mean. It takes guts to do what a soldier does, political consideration notwithstanding.

Take the Kargil conflict for instance.

Have you heard of it? I ardently hope you have. Because if you haven’t, pardon me for being harsh, but you ought to be ashamed. It infuriates me as much as it saddens me to say that there are many who don’t know about a conflict that was a threat not just to the security of our nation, but was a direct hit on her honor. If you don’t yet know, please read about the Kargil war.

Those of you folks who know about it, if not in detail but in brief, would understand where I come from when I say it was a victory hard won. India still dons the scars left by the war, and she does so with pride. Yes, Kargil was an intelligence failure, one that cost her heavily. But she fought back and she won.

Our soldiers led her to victory.

The odds were against them. At night, in harsh climate, they walked uphill. Battalions fell like flies. But did they shy away from doing their duty? No.

If you’ve seen the hills our soldiers conquered, you know what I mean when I say it was by sheer will power that our forces did so.

Go, fellow countrypersons, and see the hills. Let the martyrs be revered, let a tear be shed for them, let your head bow in salute to them. For they deserve it.

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Those who fought were young men, with so much they’d yet to live. Take some time to think about it and answer me this: would you, in your twenties and thirties, have had the courage to do what they did? Sure it can be done. It has been done for centuries. Just not by everyone!

Where there’ll be a person who stands firm, there’ll be another who runs tail. Life is such!

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All those out there who’ve a word or two to say against warriors. It’s an open challenge to you. Brave what they brave. Then talk. Don’t you ever forget it’s because of these men at the border, who forsake their sleep for yours, their life for yours, that you are alive! Can’t thank them? That’s your call. I’d figure it won’t be so much of an effort to not speak ill of them. Remember that they never fail to come to your rescue. I don’t need to innumerate the instances, for the numbers are mighty.

There are many who’d disagree with me and disregard all that a soldier does for them by just a few petty words. It’s just his duty, they’d say. To them all I can say is, yes it’s a duty, one that you can never do. A soldier can do what you do, believe me you can’t do what a soldier does. Please, try to give respect where it’s due.

I would rather not go in detail, lest the tempers run high.

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I am not saying a soldier never does wrong. Disheartening though it is, there are many, far more than I care to think of, men in a soldier’s garb, putting a blot on the soldier’s honor. I can only request you not to hate a soldier, because of that. And I can only hope the numbers lean in favor of real soldiers, always and forever.

Although in this piece I’ve talked about the Indian soldiers mostly, I’d like to say a soldier is a soldier, it’s only wise to separate the war from the warrior. I bow you, dear soldier. Mind, it’s the soldiers I honor, and not war.

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“The soldier is the army. No army is better then it’s soldiers. The soldier is also a citizen. In fact the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.”

~ George S. Patten Jr.

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