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Christel Ables

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All Soldiers Are Heroes
2004

I am new to the army. I have only been in for a little over a year. I come from a long line of soldiers. My father, Robert Ables is an Iraqi was veteran. I found out a month ago that I will be going as well in just a few months.

I was scared out of my mind, as I had been keeping up with all the news since the war started. I talked to my dad about the war. He was there just before, during, and after the initial bombing of Iraq.

I will never forget what he told me.

He said, " Honey, you would be silly not to be scared. Being over cautious is what keeps most soldiers alive. Remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to face it. It is in my opinion that every soldier is already a hero. People who join the military know that someday, sooner or later, will face conflict. That is heroism. I was in charge of a platoon, and one thing we did was go around and let everyone tell the story of why they joined. Most answers were for college money, for opportunity, to see the world... but one soldier told me something I rarely hear, He said that he lived in New York when 9-11 happened. His whole world died. His wife worked in the trade center, and his 11-month-old son was there at day care. They didn't make it out alive. He had no one to live for. His parents died when he was 17. He decided that he could live for his country and continue to fight for the freedom that his father and grandfather fought for him."

With a hug and a good night, I went into my room and reflected on what my father said. He was right you know...

I AM scared, but I am also ready to fight for my country, and for everything that our veterans fought for before my time.

Christel Ables
Copyright 2004

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