Politics can be a very fickle activity for anyone to engage in. Issues change. Candidates come and go. Enemies become friends, and friends become enemies. It’s enough to make anyone jaded and tired of the process after a while.
But every once in a while, you meet people who are in politics or engaged by a candidate for all the right reasons. People who are grounded, as we should all be, by timeless values and who strive in everything they do to hold onto and teach these values to other. Suzanne Curran forwarded me the following from Delegate Chris Saxman, which I think embodies the very best of politics and of our men in uniform:
Over the past few months, many of you have asked what is like being on a presidential campaign, and there are so many stories to tell that I really never knew where to start…but this one makes a start possible, especially since it is one of those stories rarely picked up by the main stream media.Last weekend in Prince William County, I had the honor of speaking to the thousands of supporters who had turned out to support Senator McCain and Governor Palin. After I spoke, I was approached by a young man, Marine Sergeant Jack Eubanks, who was not in uniform, but he showed me the Purple Heart he had received for his service to our country in Iraq. Sgt. Eubanks asked me if it would be possible for him to meet Senator McCain, because he wanted to give the Senator his Purple Heart medal.I got the Secret Service (very intense people) to help us give Sgt. Eubanks the opportunity to meet Senator McCain, and we ended up doing so back stage. Sgt. Eubanks is a very nice young man, who embodies the spirit of “Country First.”
“I just gave John McCain my Purple Heart,” Marine Sgt. Jack Eubanks told me a few minutes after McCain finished a speech at a campaign rally in Woodbridge, Virginia Saturday. “I said, ‘I want to give this to you, sir, as a reminder that we want you to keep your promise to bring us home in victory and honor, so it will mean something.’“
“We fought over there, and we want it to mean something,” Eubanks continued. “We don’t want to come back and it just be all for nothing.”
Eubanks, 22 years old, knows as much about the war as anyone. On October 3, 2005, he was in a Humvee on patrol near the Syrian border when an IED went off. “I was thrown from the vehicle, took some shrapnel, landed on my spine and mashed it up a little bit,” Eubanks told me in a remarkably good-humored way. He was injured much more than just a little; it took him eleven months to recover. And then — then he volunteered to go back. In August 2007, he was hurt again in a strangely similar way. “Hit by a mortar, thrown from a vehicle — the same situation,” Eubanks told me. Now, he’s teaching recruits at Marine Corps Base Quantico — and walking with a cane.
This is the very best of the Marine Corps motto: Semper Fidelis–Always faithful.
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