by Aaron Johnson
For some time now memories echo in my mind of the past. Even the smell of diesel fuel and sounds of bullet snaps demand attention through the cool breeze of the day. I listen to people’s questions, “Was it worth it?” “How do you feel about it all being worth oil?”
The protests, the classrooms I attend, and the workplace are all filled with those who have demanded a response to my actions in war. I stood silent, listening to the strength of intelligence and personal opinion. The days continue and the blood of those fallen by my hand and of my brothers demand more. I can only speak for myself and the brothers I fought with.
We did not fight for material possession, nor did we fight for our own glory. In fact, we laid all we had down for others. We fought for those who could not fight for themselves. We fought for those who would not be heard. We fought against EVIL.
Some of you have felt the stinging pain from the seeds of evil when you’re cheated, lied to, demeaned, and even physically subdued. If left unchecked, these seeds grow to large trees of hate. When we watch the news and hear of genocides, bombing, and so much more, we’re reminded of such evil. We’re dumbfounded that men could do such things. Then there were a few who said, “Enough!”
We will stand up for our families, our country, and anyone seeking freedom from the oppressive hand of evil. We stood at the gates of hell demanding anyone who wished to come, to first come to us First. We walked the streets in Iraq and Afghanistan giving the food from our packs to the kids. We brought water, clothing, and heaters to families in need. We walked patiently and waited for the attacks. We slept in bushes for days waiting for the evil men to rear their ugly faces in towns. We waited until we were shot, blown up, or fired upon until we took action.
We tried to reason, we came with love, but by God’s grace, we came with strength. We met with families who rejoiced in our presence, while others thought I came for another reason. Either way, we did not force their hand. We walked, we talked, we gave, we comforted. We stood up for the people of Iraq. We stood up for the people of Afghanistan. We stood up for the people of America. We stood for the ones weaker who could not defend themselves.
So in response to these intelligent questions and arrogant opinions, I answer: It was worth it! For those of you who chit-chat with beer or coffee in hand about the actions in countries abroad, I have something you can chew on for a while. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” Edmund Burke, statesman, 1729-1797. So unless you’re one who wants to lay your pride down and stand up, I do not weigh your words more than a blade of grass in my lawn.
You who cries over the seeds of evil in your life and watches the trees of evil abound everywhere but in your front yard. I warn you. If left untreated the trees will grow here. And when you’re face-to-face with the gates of hell, you will cry out for the men who are hardened and tempered by the fires. Those who do not think of themselves, but of you. You who snickered behind their backs and questioned their motives. May the Lord God uphold the righteous and give them strength — for they’re truly very few.
May my brothers be comforted by the company of one another, and not forget their fight is the good fight. If you wish to ask those who stand guard against evil for you, how you may help? I imagine they’d answer in this manner, “Haha. Ruck up or Shut up.”
So thank you all for taking the time to read this, many of you know I don’t ever write much. I am truly grateful to have met every one of you and appreciate your love in my life. Many of you have forged the very courage that got me through the darkest of times and for that you have my thanks and let my honor be bestowed upon you. May the righteous be upheld, may the love you have for one another be watered, and may God bless you and keep you all the days of your life.
This article originally published on Aaron Johnson’s Facebook page and is re-posted here with his permission. It first appeared in The Havok Journal on April 10, 2015.