I can barely remember what day it is and this whole thing didn’t begin that long ago. It feels like years. It’s what 2003 felt like in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert as we launched into Iraq.
Trust me when I say I get what all of you are going through right now.
I had to sit in a room of people, half American Airmen, half Kuwaiti nationals, as Saddam dropped missiles on our location.
I was in full battle rattle, MOPP 4, sucking air through a filter. I sat right across from a woman who’s eyes felt like they would pierce my soul. Her children played, too young to be aware of what was happening around them.
It almost broke me. I wanted it to all be over. I knew if it hit us, I would die because I wasn’t going to let a little kid die. We might both go, but it wouldn’t be because I didn’t try to save him. I was scared I wouldn’t see my wife and kids again.
Fast forward to now, and I don’t have a fucking clue what to do, you know? I still want to protect people and it feels like I’m completely powerless to do much of anything.
I’m not rich. I’m not famous. I have no pull on society. I don’t even have a uniform anymore.
Ya know, the only reason I even decided to join the military was I wanted to be like the heroes I had from the comics. Captain America, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man. You know the story. A lot of people have it.
I knew that joining up wouldn’t make me a superhero, of course. (Though I always secretly hoped one day someone would offer me entry to a super-soldier program.) It did make me realize that people matter, though. You only go to so many funerals and salute so many caskets or see villagers killed from a flood, some our actual enemy even, rushed into a military base for help.
All I have now are my words and I hope they reach the eyes of those that need it. So, here’s a pep talk, in the style I would have given it to my people, my brothers and sisters when I was in the USAF.
Right now, we’re in a scary place.
I understand you’re scared. I understand nothing is really making sense right now. You don’t have the full picture. Neither do I, but here’s what we’re going to do.
We are going to move forward because the only way out is through. Do you understand?
I absolutely grok our leadership has made a complete mess out of this whole situation. We are in official Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition territory. And you know what? I don’t care.
You know who’s gonna save us? We are.
We are because while those suits in D.C. and our state capitols are debating acceptable losses to keep their precious stock market and their rich corporate buddies in comfort and safety, OUR PEOPLE ARE DYING.
We don’t wait for angels, ladies and gentlemen. We are the angels.
Each and every one of us is responsible now for the lives of each and every human on the face of this planet and if we don’t take control and band together locally, I can assure you the situation will get a hell of a lot worse.
YOU WILL listen to the scientists and doctors and YOU WILL ignore these morons telling you to just go about your business like nothing is happening.
If you do not, you will be responsible for killing your own people. This is not a judgment passed down by me, but one by whatever god you call your own.
We will likely put millions in the ground over the course of this next year. There won’t be a court that judges you. You will be allowed to live and the faces of millions of dead will haunt you and I can only pray it’s not one of your loved ones.
This will be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life. You will suffer, you will scream to the heavens for mercy, but it will only come when we all walk through the other side of this… together.
If we stay together, work together, survive together, we will come through the other side. We will lose some, and we will remember their names for time immemorial. We will hold each other up when we are weak. We will be there for each other.
Go to the CDC website for more information.
Help and volunteer in ways that you can. Above all, stay safe.
Ladies and gentlemen, we need heroes today.
We need people to stand and do what’s right even though they’re scared as hell. That’s the only way we get out of this.
What do you say? Let’s save the damn world.