Friday, January 15, 2010

Getting Your Purple Heart

The Military Order of the Purple Heart was chartered by President, George Washington in 1782. Although protocol around recipients and variations of the medal have changed throughout the years; its purpose has always been to honor military men, and women, for wounds suffered in combat. The actual order includes the phrase "Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the Purple Heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen."

There’s an irrefutable sense of respect we afford military personal who don a Purple Heart. Its very presence on a soldier’s uniform signals the bravery and sacrifice they’ve selflessly made. We bestow the utmost of reverence to veterans who exhibit their purple hearts, as they regale in the details that lead them to this declaration of personal sacrifice.

Several times throughout these past two years, I have unwillingly been recruited into personal battle. Although my battles weren’t government sponsored battles, but rather inspired by the reckless events of government, I’ve nonetheless found myself on the front line of combat. And, I know I’m not alone. I see my fellow soldiers in the unemployment line, food stamp offices, pleading with their banking institutions, in newspaper headlines, on television, writing blogs about their plight, and in extreme cases, homeless.

Each day, I’ve had to arise early and don my battle gear. Be it a new strategy to finding work, putting on the breastplate of determination to make it through the day, or simply yielding my sword of resilience. The enemy camp is always in full force and at the ready. They have launched their attacks through job loss, financial despair, bullying tactics via bill collectors, charlatan organizations claiming to help, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and all out intimidation and devastation. Unlike any battle, there have been casualties in this war and the wounds suffered have been depression, anxiety, personal loss, and bone crushing exhaustion from the never ceasing battle. Yet, like any good solider, when hit with enemy fire, I’ve had to find the strength within to get back on my feet and continue to charge against my opponent. I’ll admit there have been times throughout this battle when I’ve had to come inside for a time of retreat. Any first-rate solider needs time to recharge and renew themselves. The important thing is to get right back out on the front line and keep fighting with the utmost of fortitude. I don’t mind having holes in my armor as I return to the battle field. I’ve learned that without the holes, the light can’t shine through. Every time I step back into combat I feel stronger and more prepared. My weapons are my faith, determination, network of family and friends, and a well devised strategy. Despite wanting to just drop my sword and surrender, I know that I’m not just fighting this battle for me. My son, my family and my friends are all counting on me. There are no white flags in my survival kit.

When all is said and done, and the losses totaled; I guarantee that my soul, dignity, integrity, or lack of determination will not be part of the final sum.

I have and may continue to emerge with battle wounds. These are scars I’m beyond proud to display. They proclaim to the world that despite taking a hit, I remained constant, took a stand and fought valiantly for what I believed in. That despite how intense the heat of battle became, I never quit. That victory was my only option. In the end, I will receive a purple heart for the wounds incurred. It will be in the form of my business growing, celebrating another year in my home, building my savings account, imparting invaluable life lessons to my son, and waking up each new day celebrating much deserved peacetime.

"Let it be known that she who wears the Purple Heart of life has given of her all in defense of her home and what’s rightfully hers, and shall forever be respected by her peers and fellow soldiers."

Copyright 2010