But that was the thing. Somewhere beyond the self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy he wondered if the inconspicuous life was really the majority life, the ordinary life, the normal life. If that life – his kind of life – was one that most knew intimately, yet denied publicly, he was as ready as anyone to do the job before him. Maybe life wasn’t about standing out as much as it was doing the work in front of you; not running from it nor ignoring it nor disparaging it, but just doing it.
He wasn’t sure of himself. He never had been. He’d never been a stand out kind of guy. His grades were unremarkable and he was probably forgotten by his classmates before the last strains of Pomp and Circumstance died away. He had few noticeable skills. He was not the one the coach had depended on or praised. He had been placed in an inconspicuous part of the school choir. Throughout his young life he’d had the same insecurities as everyone else who was so focused on their own they failed to see his.
The whir of the plane’s engines grew louder. He stepped into not just a plane, but so much more. He handed over his known for the unknown and took his stand as one more unheralded, noble life.
Armistice Day, also known as Veterans Day, is November 11.
Note: This slice of prose is not the story of the soldier pictured. His story is as follows: Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dvids/7519763810 cc attribution 2.0.jpg of Sgt. Tim Martin, an infantryman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, shows evidence of the long journey after returning from Operation Buffalo Thunder II at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, July 2, 2012. During the eight-day mission, Afghan and American forces cleared more than 120 kilometers of rugged terrain and escorted approximately 60 truckloads of humanitarian aid for distribution to the people of Shorabak.