...feel like you have something profound to say and you can't spit it out? Or maybe it is that you feel you SHOULD say something profound, and it simply isn't there? That is how I have felt all day.
I have felt oppressed, burdened and like I should say something profound but it simply is not there. I do not know if this is because of the anniversary of September 11 and the pain Danny is in, or something else entirely, but still it is there.
Eight years ago, our brother was stationed at the Pentagon as the NCOIC (Non-Commisioned Officer In Charge) of the DiLorenzo TriCare Health Clinic. A seasoned combat medic, he was a Corporal in charge of ALL of the medical for the Pentagon. He was about to leave to take his daughter to a medical appointment at Walter Reed when the plane hit.
As soon as he knew that something, though not what, had happened, he and his team raced into certain death to do whatever they could to save whomever they could. The first person he saved was Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell* and they went on to save seventeen more people before they started gathering the rest...the ones that did not survive. Some bodies, more often not. My sister had to listen to him each night when he got home from the carnage. And she will never be the same either.
I could go into how his team and he crawled over and under and around smoking debris cover in jet fuel. And I could even tell you some of the horror he faced that day. But what I cannot tell you is what he lives through even now. I cannot explain to you the pain it causes him when people try to expound on conspiracy theories or tell stories that are no where close to the truth of that day. I cannot tell you what his night terrors are like, or were, as God has healed him for the most part of those.
But that is not what really gets me, though it hurts. What really gets me is that after all they did, after all *he* did and saw and went through...Arlington got the accolades. Not my brothers team. In fact, as far as the world is concerned, Arlington was the first response team. NOT my brothers team. Arlington gets the "attaboys." No one knows what Danny's team did except a very select few. Danny says, "I was just doing my job. It is no big deal." But it *is* a big deal to those who love him. It is a huge deal that he was not awarded the Soldier's Medal, which he should have received. It is a huge deal that no one knows.
Today I am saying, "My brother is a hero." And you know what? He will probably get mad at me. He will probably wish I had said nothing. He does not now, nor has he ever, seen himself as a hero. He is not the most humble guy you would ever meet, but in this one regard, he is far too humble in my opinion.
I do not know what I am supposed to say today. If I mention it to him, I risk bringing back the terrors. And if I don't, I feel that I am not honoring him. I know this is not profound. And I know that it may even seem self-serving or boring. But I had to say what I feel so there it is.
My brother may not be a hero. But just for one day, for one moment in time, he was *someone's* hero.
eta-I feel like I should be able to make him better and I can't. No one can. But I can and will say he deserves to be recognized.
*Brian Birdwell wrote a book entitled "Refined By Fire" in which he discusses his experience. I highly recommend it.
Same, Same, but Different Day
6 months ago