As far back as I can remember I always knew I was going to become a soldier. Why I was so certain I would become a soldier even before entering grade school remains a mystery to even me. All I know is what I wanted to be and nothing was going to change that. As I grew up in life I was asked many times throughout my childhood, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” and the answer always remained the same, simple and short, straight to the point “A Soldier”.
When some of the individuals asking the question replied with “A Soldier” I knew right then the question and comment I had grown to hate the most would soon follow which was, “Why do you want to be a Soldier?”, and my answer has always been the same… Still in the end it never mattered how the reality manifested into being, and how both men and women transformed into the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines, whether it was active, guards, reserves, Coast Guard, or Border Patrol, one thing remained one and the same, it was the bond that brought us all together as one, that which unites us until that which made us different became the same, and what we thought made us uncommon come into alignment transforming our differences into strengths, tuning our different values and beliefs into common values and beliefs.
It never mattered how we came to be whether by way of draft, enlistment, or even court ordered but what it came to mean to us all was the belief in our Duty, and how that sense of duty mattered more than ourselves. Being taken in by the truths that our founding fathers found to be self evident as we had to learned those simple truths the hard way, but not only did we learn that all men were created equal but also the freedoms we came to love and enjoy was not free but instead came with a very high price. The cost was one that all who wore the uniforms paid, no matter the level of the payment it was paid in the form of Sacrifices. The sacrifices not only made by the men and women in uniforms but by our families, friends, and neighbors as well. Those sacrifices are forever felt and remembered, engraved on our conscience and subconscious thoughts. Sacrifices I mention not to draw sympathy or pity, but instead to paint a masterpiece of pride, and joy in knowing that those sacrifices in some way touched the life of the many, and the acts being forever entrenched in our way of being. Sacrifices that every man and woman, who ever had the pleasure of raising his or her right hand would tell you, if they had a chance to do it again they would.
Then there are those who paid the highest price of all by making the ultimate sacrifice. A Sacrifice so great they would never be able to see the effects of their selfless service. A sacrifice shown only by the beautiful colors that their loved ones received as receipt of their grand payment, that they so proudly display for all to see whether it’s on a flag pole outside of their homes or in a beautiful flag display case, displayed in their homes for all to see. When we join the different branches of service we all joined for many different reasons. It could have been because we had no choice such as our brethren of the World Wars, Korean War, and the Vietnam War as some enlisted while others were drafted, or like our brethren and sisters of the currents wars enlisted, for the GI Bills, the security, or even out of a sense of duty after 911.
No matter what was the initial reasoning behind joining the service, what was the greatest reason that we continued to serve? Some think it may be because of the opportunities but I say to them no one wakes up and hopes for the opportune time to die. Some may think it’s for the benefits but to be honest with you although they help they are not all that great. Some even think it’s for the money but I can assure you that the money certainly could be better.
The truth is all those reasons may have been good reasons but they certainly were not that which held us. We all stayed for one reason and one reason only, that which we came to live for, and at the same time being more than to proud to die for. That which would ensure we are forever remembered in the most sacred of documents in this world and the next, physical and spiritual, forever lasting, and indestructible. We all chose to stay the course for the because of Honor.
We at Medals of America live with a sense of duty each and every day as we continue the fight to ensure your deeds are never forgotten. We are proud to serve our great customers as we can’t help but to feel their sacrifices as we sit and listen to their stories while they place their orders. Being touched by their love, loyalty and devotion to their family members or friends as try to capture a piece of their love ones history for one reason or another. We feel so blessed to be a part of helping you to build your beautiful display cases, mounted medals and ribbon racks, so you can proudly display your military awards and decorations that you so greatly and selflessly earned. For you all have served and continue to serve with great credit to your family, friends and community and most of all you all served with Honor; so for the sake of Honor, it’s our pleasure to serve you. Thank you all, and most of all thank you all for your service.
Life is only as long as we live… Death is only as long as our memories are remembered… but Honor… Honor lasts forever.
Boris I. Jones
Medals of America