Friday, March 18, 2005

Silver Star Shining

Awards are not uncommon in today's world. Most people have one hanging on a wall, gathering dust on a shelf, or tucked away in a forgotten place. Yet some awards just carry more weight than others, even leaving a mark in history. An oscar, Most Valuable Player, a Silver Star.
I watched as a silver Star as pinned on my son's chest March 10 at Fort Campbell, Ky. The second highest award an enlisted man can recieve, the Silver Star is the symbol of uncommon gallantry under fire against a foreign emeny of the United States. My son's name will be added to a list that includes Audie Murphy, Douglas MacAathur, John McCain, and John Kerry. Kelly Mahon will be in the company of heroes forever. Only an act of congress can take that away.
He was a rowdy boy who always tried his best. He loved to compete and took risks. From Little League catcher to gymkhana racer, wild bull rider in pro rodeo, he went on to join the Army and jump out of airplaes with the 101st Airborne. He was a member of the Long Range Surveillance unit during Desert Storm, qualified as a Ranger and Pathfinder before making it into the most elite group the Army has, Special Forces. He would not rest until he was picked as on of three out of 100 applicants to wear the Green Beret.
I watched him on stage as they related that night in Iraq when he crawled under crossfire to pull another SF soldier to safety, then led an attact against Al Qaeda terrorists holed up in a two story house. It is a mother's nightmare and pride.
I'm against war, especially this one. Yet I respect the men and women who so courageously answer their country's call. Too many do not. Every man I have ever loved has served his country and worn its uniform; my father, my brothers, my husband, my son. They have no regrets. They are proud of Kelly also.
I wear a peace sign and mourn the name of every fallen sevice man and woman. I ask congress to bring our people home alive. I do what little I can as a member of Grandmothers for Peace.
Bravery, patriotism, and leadership are not about war, but are conditions of the heart.