Sunday, 16 June 2013

Happy Father's Day!

This morning I ran the Bagram Memorial Father's Day 5k. Over 500 soldiers and civilians turned out to do the run. The whole event was a huge success, a gorgeous day, not too hot (and no incoming ;-). I just wanted to write a brief post about what occurred while I was running. We had just reached the turnaround for the first third of the race. I had just passed by two soldiers who were running together and as I came back in front of them I heard one say to the other. "Hey dude, you ok? You're slowing down?" The other one replied, "Oh yeah man, I guess I just started thinking, you know, I's Father's Day. You know? I guess I just started thinking about what that means". At that point I pulled away from the conversation, but it was such a surreal moment. I overheard this soldier's bizarre, heartfelt moment of clarity as we were wheezing and burning and cramping and sweating and the way he said it was a reality check for me too.  We're running the Father's Day 5k, but how many of us really stopped to consider what that stands for, like the soldier I overheard?  It's so easy to be sucked into the nether world of deployment life and forget what's important back home in our real lives.  But then it occurs to me, the reason I don't stop to consider it is because it makes me too sad. Allowing Bagram to become my whole world protects me from the sadness I feel when I think of my father alone on the day he should be celebrated for the hero he is.

After the race with my prize shirt!

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