There are times in life when one must perform a duty that he or she signed up for. Not knowing fully what may be encountered, seen, heard, felt, or even what you may have to do to someone else. It’s well known by those whom know me, what I’ve done for almost all of my adult life. Being an EMT/Fireman, regardless of paid or volunteer; the job is still the same. You never know what you may walk into, or see. While it’s hard to compare the military with Fire/EMS/Police, there are similar stresses. I won’t get into them, that’s a whole different article on its own. When it’s just you, and it’s a passion you have chosen for yourself it does become easy to not share those mix of emotions with other people. For some people, no matter how you explain it, they just will never understand. That’s fine and apart of life. We don’t ask people to understand Emergency Services, but deep down we all want respect. Some won’t say it, but it’s there. There is also bond and respect that is gained through training. The amount of training for one to be efficient at what he or she does is unparalleled to most other jobs. Someone like myself that isn’t in the Military to comment on training, does it no justice.
For one to go into a war zone, and pick up a rifle and ride with brothers into a situation where you know people are going to try and take your life, that’s a different ball game then going into a fire, or doing CPR, or chasing down a murder suspect. The bonds that are grown are immense. The constant fears, the battles just to sleep, find peace in urinating or having a bowel movement, or even trying to just talk to people take over. There are things you will never forget. The sounds of people screaming, crying, explosions, gun fire, the smells of death, burning objects. These are things that never leave your brain. Those are comparable with Emergency Services. You can ask anyone if they remember their first fatal accident, and hearing a mother being told their child is no longer with us, or going to a funeral for a fallen brother and the looks of dismay on their family’s faces. All of these and many, many more are things no one ever forgets.
The toll it takes on our families is something that many can relate too. This is probably the most regretful part of any “Servicemen” job. No one wishes for our families to endure the mental stress they go through, or the anguish of not seeing them for a prolonged period of time. Regardless, if it’s the stress of a wife listening to a scanner, knowing her husband is actively in a house fire, or their spouse, son, or sibling overseas fighting a war; Support is mostly all they will ask for.
We don’t ask why, or how come. It’s a calling for some, and a blessing for those lives touched by those warriors. My brother has served two tours in Iraq. Today he left for Afghanistan. It was bitter sweet for me. I know he can’t perform his duties he was trained for, unless he is in a war zone. These are proud moments, knowing that a skilled person like himself will be protecting my rights to write this article, or say things in a free manor. This country was built on such values. There are things we have talked about, that I won’t share with anyone and vice versa with him from my experiences. I’m proud to say he is serving this country and proud for anyone whose life has touched, and will continue to touch.