Last weekend was a great tribute to a fallen warrior--LT Michael Murphy, however; it was so much more than that. As Maureen Murphy, LT Murphy's mother and ship's sponsor so appropriately noted in her remarks, "even though the ship will bear Michael's name, it will carry the spirit of all 19 of those those boys killed in Operation Red Wings."
All to often, I think we honor an individual to such an extent that we tend to forget about those who trained and fought with them and most importantly, supported them. The fact is, hundreds of individuals help produce the warriors that were on that mountain in June 2005. Hundreds if not thousands of individuals came together in a united cause that prepared those men for that mission. In any endeavor, successful or not, there are many people who work behind the scenes to make sure the equipment is ordered, correctly assembled, available when and where it is needed, coordinate and transport where and when needed that never get recognized and are seldom acknowledged.
That is certainly the case with any military mission. Our Special Operations forces are best best of the best, are at the very tip of the spear when it comes to inflicting maximum damage to those who would do us harm. With that training, education and experience comes a certain degree of confidence; confidence in the fact that you are the best trained and best equipped warriors in the history of warfare.
As I stated in SEAL of Honor, fortunately "there is a difference between confidence and conceit, commitment and convienence, and character and contrition. It is the SEAL's fundamental difference in thought process and attitude that provides them with confidence, commitment, and character. Thankfully, conceit, convenience, and contrition simply do not apply to the warrior community."
"SEAL's are not maniacal individuals hell-bent on self-destruction. They have hopes and dreams for themselves and their families just like each of us do...SEALs are acutely aware that freedom is not free. They understand better than most that everything has a price that must be paid...SEALs give all and ask for nothing. Their reward is coming home to their families and friends, watching them and others enjoy the freedoms they helped secure, ever vigilant that for as long as the Lord tarries, the fight is never complete."
The next time we hear of a great military achievement, let us remember all those unsung heroes behind the scenes that made it possible for those out front to get the job done. And when we learn of the death of one or more of our warriors, let us mourn their loss, our loss, but let us not concentrate how these warriors died, but celebrate how they lived.