Editorial Salute - 8/25/11

No one needs reminding that we lost over two-dozen elite Navy/Army special operations personnel, when their helicopter was downed 3-weeks ago in Afghanistan. Or maybe we do need to be reminded, as stories about countless other stuff have since shoved news of genuine valor from our TV screens and minds.  Though the news media have moved on, the anguish over the loss of these proud and skilled warriors has not.  They were treasured humans, dedicated to their units, dedicated to their nation, who trained and fought together, were brought home together, their flag-draped coffins then flown on to scattered hometowns across the land, where solemn motorcades escorted them, with dignity, to grieving family and friends.

One of the memorial services, worthy of recounting, was that for Navy SEAL, Jon "J.T." Tumilson, buried last week in Rockford, Iowa. In vivid evidence at that service was that revered American character-trait called loyalty.  Exibited, of course, by those in attendance, totaling about 15-hundred folks, in all.  But what stood out here was the loyalty, not of a human, but of a dog, J.T.'s closest-companion, a lab named "Hawkeye."  Evoking understandable emotion, once inside the memorial, on his own, "Hawkeye" laid-down directly in front of J.T.'s flag-covered coffin, and remained there, still, throughout the entire service.  Poignant-loyalty to the end.  The kind of loyalty that genuine patriots must always exhibit for the 1% of our citizens who keep the other 99% of us secure.  No matter the distractions, always leave room in your heart to remember, with eternal gratitude, the loyalty of those brave Americans who've been called to give their all, so that we might continue to live sovereign and free.