“The Soldier” is dedicated to my oldest brother, John, who is a soldier in the best sense of the word, and to all the soldiers in uniform and otherwise who find the road to peace an uphill battle. Your sacrifice is not in vain.
Thus opens the book that tells the tale of Devlin St. Just’s fight for his happily ever after following the Napoleonic wars, but when I think about it, is the road to peace ever not an uphill battle?
And what is a “soldier in the best sense”? By that I meant, somebody whose passion to protect the people they love is so great, they will offer their lives in the effort. This is the stuff of heroes, certainly, but in my work with foster children, I also see a much quieter version of soldier than we usually envision when we think of a hero. I see people who each day offer their lives and their love in the fight to reclaim families from the sundering forces of addiction, mental illness, and crime.
I see parents who finally, finally climb on top of years of excuses, blaming and denying to get healthy and sober, and to step up to the challenge and honor of raising their children.
I see children who by rights ought to be incapable of functioning, though they somehow hold it together, get an education, and make good choices.
I see the police officers whose job it is to accompany child protective services workers into dangerous and heartbreaking situations, and they do it. It’s part of the job, and they don’t expect to be thanked for it any more than the CPS workers expect thanks for what they do, or the judges expect thanks for hearing the difficult cases in the foster care court room.
My ninety-one-year-old dad served a Navy tour during World War II, my brother John did a stint in Vietnam, but they rarely talk about their experiences as soldiers. Today, let’s talk about our soldiers—who in your life is protecting and serving, offering their life and their love for what they believe in? Whether they’re in the military, or serving in a civilian capacity, they’re soldiers to me.
Eleven people commenting on today’s blog will receive a signed copy of “The Soldier,” and one lucky commenter will receive a new Kindle.