One of the all time classic movies, released in the same year at Gone with the Wind, was the Wizard of Oz. In that film a new star was born, monkeys flew all over and the audiences were captivated by Dorothy’s three travelling companions. One of those talking ‘misfits’ was a lion; not just any lion, but a cowardly one. One, who in some things, found much to be frightened. He let everyone know he was definitely not ‘kingly’ material!
What he lacked was courage. He was in definite search of it, for he knew he could not be a full fledged lion unless he acted like one. Did anyone, such as the Wizard, have the ability, or the power, to give it to him? No, he found that courage is not something you hang on your chest but what is found in the heart.
One of the attributes of a soldier, what is expected of him/her, is courage. It is part of a Soldier’s creed and conviction; but, it is not something learned in a classroom or given by an officer or instructor. Courage is that part of us, a part we don’t really know we have much of, until it is needed. Then it becomes evident, not only to us, but also to those around us.
We, here on stateside, may not think we have many opportunities to demonstrate courage; but, in reality we do. Courage is not only found on the battlefield. It exists also in a society where a Soldier may feel pressured to not uphold the creeds and values of the Army, whether National Guard or CSMR. It is an act of bravery to hold on to the principles of doing what is right, in the face of those who find it easier to ride the slippery slope of looking out for one’s self only. It is an act of courage to go beyond what we think our limitations are and finish the mission!
If you are looking for a “medal of courage” to hang on your chest, first, look deeper to see what is in your heart. I know courage is there. Be bold! The heart, mind and spirit just need the opportunity to act on it, every day.