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The greatest athletes

Posted on | December 18, 2008 | 1 Comment

There is a story in the American Spectator today entitled Good Sports, Great Sports. It is an excellent reminder of who the real atheletes are and that the “..NFL can’t shine the boots of U.S. fighting men.”

From the article:

…Yet my enthusiasm for the NFL stars’ athleticism has been overshadowed this year by reports of far more prodigious athleticism demonstrated last April by the members of something called Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 of the 3rd Special Forces Group. Their contest took place in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province, far from the television cameras and the garrulous commentators. This twelve-man Green Beret team fought a seven-hour battle uphill in a freezing mountainous valley after being pinned down by a couple of hundred or more insurgents. They and a few dozen Afghans, whom they had trained, got out after killing between 150 and 200 of the enemy. Half of the Green Berets were wounded — four critically

Many have said that the greatest generation was the one in which our parents and grandparents fought World War 2. While I know this to be true, I also can’t take away anything from the current generation of US fighting men. While Terrell Owens and Payton Manning may be some of the greatest NFL atheletes today, they can’t compare to Staff Sergeant John Wayne Walding, of Groesbeck, Texas:

“We were pretty much in the open,” Staff Sergeant Luis Morales of Fredericksburg, Virginia, told the Washington Post, “there were no trees to hide behind.” In the course of the battle he was shot in the thigh while tending to a wounded team member. Then he was shot in the ankle. He kept on fighting. They all did, even Staff Sergeant John Wayne Walding, of Groesbeck, Texas, who saw a bullet nearly amputate his right leg below the knee. Walding is quoted, “I literally grabbed my boot and put it in my crotch, then got the boot laces and tied it to my thigh, so it would not flop around. There was about two inches of meat holding my leg on.”

With all due respect to Mr. Owens, he isn’t even in the same class.

Last December, my family decided we would go the airport and welcome home the troops who were enroute to their R & R leave from the war. I wrote about it in this post. While we have made several trips to the airport this year, maybe I can talk my wife into going again. I need to be reminded of greatness again.

May we one day call todays fighting men, one of the greatest generations.

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One Response to “The greatest athletes”

  1. dane and alicia
    December 20th, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

    That is a really cool article. I listened to the audio book by Marcus Luttrell called Lone Survivor about his Seal teams experience in Afghanistan. Amazing book! Those forces who go through all that are truly incredible.
    You guys going to the airport is so great. I won’t ever forget when I was greeted by the hundred people at Dallas/Fort Worth. It was something I won’t ever forget and I am so grateful for it. Keep up the good work!