sacrifice /ˈsakrəˌfīs/ (n) & (v):
To pass on something desirable for the sake of having something considered to be of higher value.
To disregard something regardless of profit (or loss).
Sacrifice has several definitions and can mean something different from person-to-person. We will all be asked to make sacrifices at some point in our lives. For example, a student athlete has to sacrifice attending various social functions to participate in team practice. A young entrepreneur often sacrifices sleep in order to complete a lingering task.
But what about an even greater sacrifice, something a little more than skipping the most talked about “frat party” or bypassing sleep in lieu of getting a competitive advantage? I won’t argue whether one sacrifice is more worthy over another. Our sacrifices, and the things we value, as well as the reasons we make them in the first place, are unique to us.
However, making a sacrifice each day is what our men and women of the United States Armed Forces are asked to do. Whatever calls you to serve is an intonation made only for your ears.
You enter when you’re young and hungry. Whether it’s money, pride, family, or the distinction to say you’re a service member, you’re driven by forces unknown to ordinary Americans as you trudge your way through basic military training (or boot camp).
After your initial skills training, you may be called to duty more than you thought possible. Your family may seldom understand why this has to be. Early mornings and late nights and many hours, days, and months you spend protecting freedom. You try to reason to help them understand what this all means. Maybe they will, and sometimes they don’t, but this is the way it has to be.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same … “
More than an oath, it is a creed by which you are reminded when the going gets a little tough. And trust that when hard times befall our brothers and sisters, we are reminded of those words. The real reason why we do it. No one promised it would be easy and it’s a duty you feel you must uphold.
Greatness isn’t achieved by doing the minimum. It is bestowed upon those who are willing to ruck that extra mile, work that extra hour, or fire that final shot. Greatness is in each and every service member, government civilian or dependent child or spouse. Greatness is the balls to sacrifice what we love for the betterment and advancement of ourselves as well as our country.
They won’t understand why we do it. They can’t comprehend why someone would willfully put themselves through so much stress and strife for what perceivably may or may not occur. “The ultimate sacrifice” is unfathomable to a conventional way of thinking and the natural order of preservation of life. But somebody has to do. And you know that somebody is you.
Battles are won in the air, on land, at sea, in space, and cyberspace. What will you sacrifice to ensure the war is not lost?