HEROES AT THE GATES
fateful day last year, etched in red in our nations history, when some
misguided miscreants and scurrilous jackanapes (translation: an activist
preacher's words for pond puke well below sea level) cowardly and violently
attacked a way of humanity they couldn't imagine or appreciate if received by
immersion, inhalation, and inoculation; a great deal of things have
changed. We could debate or choose not to debate that these changes
should have been in place prior to, but I'd have no way of knowing whether I'd
be debating a sitter or a stander. I'm a firm believer that the majority
of critics and hecklers have always contributed primarily, to the absolute
accomplishment of nothing. Therefore, I choose not to debate what
could've or should've been. I choose to recognize some folk who always
have been and presently are, contributing to the preservation of
I'm speaking of soldiers. That's right, soldiers. Folk most people
don't appreciate or even recognize until there's a conflict that just might
affect my weekend barbecue I've planned. Soldiers - the sentinels of the
freedom and liberty of our nation.
I have the privilege of working on a military installation. Fort Belvoir,
VA to be exact. No longer can I breeze through the gate. No longer
can I sashay on post like I'm entitled to be here, and that's a good thing in
my opinion. Now, when I drive through the gates, I'm stopped, I checked,
I'm scrutinized, and I'm glad. I don't view this as an inconvenience or a
nuisance. I view it as an opportunity to see some heroes up close and
personal. I know these are not the heroes swatting flies in Khandahar, or
blinking sand from their eyes in the Afghani mountains. I know they're
not on a carrier or an airstrip, but nonetheless, I view them as heroes.
I'm aware that weapons issue is probably around 3:00am and Guard Mount is
probably around 4:00am. I'm aware that most Day Cares for their children
aren't open for business before 6:00am at the earliest, and yet, they greet the
understanding and sensitive, and the ungrateful and insensitive with the same
amount of dignity and professionalism that only a hero could possess.
The attitude of the heroes I've encountered is not limited to Fort Belvoir
either. I've observed it at Andrews and Bolling, AFB, Fort Myer (the
stomping grounds of my last active duty assignment), and the Marine
Annex. Sure, I've only experienced some areas within the MDW (Military
District of Washington), but you'd be hard pressed to convince me that what
I've seen is limited to this area. I believe there are heroes like unto
the ones I've encountered at the gates of every facility, and or installation
remotely involved with the military and I am so very grateful. Because
I'm an ol' retired infantryman, I'm authorized to mess with them. On
rainy days, I tell them, "I appreciate you heroes being out here, now stay
wet!" On cold days, I've repeated my sincere statement, but ended it
by encouraging them to, "Stay cold!" There hasn' t been one
time when the heroes haven't responded with a resounding, "Hooah."
hats off to you heroes, MP's, augmentees, or whatever your unit of assignment
serves to be. Yours is not an insignificant responsibility. You're
protecting much more than material assets, dependants, DoD civilians, and
contractors. You are protecting our greatest and most unrecognized asset;
your fellow heroes who could be called upon to move out at a moments
notice. Thank you for being Heroes At The Gates.
you for being willing and available to serve.
Well, I gather you knew this next part was enroute to this location. The
Bible tells us in the last book of the books about a place called Heaven.
It is described as a glorious place, unimaginable in its glory. It
consists of a city of pure gold, like unto clear glass (Revelation
21:18). There's a throne with an omnipotent authority seated upon it,
encased in an emerald-like rainbow. The throne is surrounded by 24 seated
leaders in white apparel with crowns of gold upon their heads, and before the
throne is a sea of glass reminiscent of crystal with 4 beasts surrounding the
throne (Revelation 4: 2-6). I have a sense that these beasts
are not like those we associate on this earth with horror and terror, but I
want to point out something else. I want to point out the gates.
Revelation 21:10-21, talks about this wonderful and wondrous city descending
out of heaven from God with a great high wall having 12 gates (3 at each
cardinal direction), all consisting of one (for me, unimaginable) pearl (that's
probably where we get the term, "Pearly Gates"). Again, we can
choose to debate or not to debate, but I don't believe any of those gates are
back gates. I believe they are all in the front, that they are all
entrances and not used as exits. I also believe that there are Heroes at
those Gates, willing and available to greet and serve those who have entered,
or will enter in.
Copyright © 2002, Paul Schneidmill, All Rights Reserved