I have a problem with the overuse/misuse of the word hero, especially by such villainous/cowardly bile producers as Fox News, talk radio agitators, and anyone with a blog that thinks having an opinion makes him/her a genius. Not every soldier serving in a war is a hero: most merely do their duty (some more, some less) and are happy to survive. Unfortunately, the military likes to hand out pieces of colored thread to make themselves feel good about the suffering they cause and have managed to convince quite a few folks of their value.
I “earned” one of the higher combat decorations, but I do not consider myself a hero. I did the job I was sent to do, which included submitting myself to danger. Because little action had been occurring, someone felt the need to “create” some heroes. The citation is a fine piece of fiction, although it does describe an actual event.
I returned to a country that scorned military service and rejected those that served. Men and women in uniform were forced to shoulder the blame for flawed political decisions. Therefore, I am happy that people in the military do receive some recognition from the public, because they are still shouldering burdens of and suffering for flawed political decisions.
Perhaps Fox News considers military service to be heroic, because they do not understand what any kind of service entrails. Vain attempts to give value to boring jobs in a meaningless (except to profiteers) war in which lives of men and women are unnecessarily wasted or destroyed with injuries. Most joined the military, because no other jobs were to be had in a country that shipped most jobs overseas.
Call a spade a spade and apply “hero” only to those that do something out of the ordinary to help comrades. Everyone else is merely doing a job, no matter how dumb or meaningless and no matter of the proximity of danger. That goes with the territory.
Blogs are like most business memos: they are written for the writer and not the reader. Many are not worth reading, or reading one is little more than a waste of time.
Blog writing can be an interesting pastime. It can also be a vent for one or the other pent-up emotion. The writing of a business memo can have several reasons and many outcomes. Most memos are written to prove someone’s point, to promote an opinion, or to cover one’s behind (either pre- or post-failure/screw up). The most egregious are usually copied to all and sundry: a long cc. list is a sign of one to avoid wasting time with reading.
That said, a finely crafted memo with good intent is a valuable instrument for any organization. I had the good fortune of learning the art of memo writing during my tenure as an account executive on the P&G account at a leading (at the time) advertising agency. Memos were sacred at that company, and anyone working for the business was expected to master the art. Those that could not moved on to less-demanding clients (memo-wise). No memo could be longer than one page, so as not to waste the time of busy managers. These were not dashed off, rather were crafted and revised.
Blogs are also expected to be short, but many writers (guilty as charged) do not spend the time honing the message or proofing the text. One often wonders what one should do or think. This was never the case with a P&G memo.
There is a familiar question/saying about a tree falling the the forest. If no one is there to hear it, does it make noise?
The same question can be posed about a blog. Does it exist, if no one reads it? Of course, we all know that a blog--like a memo in a large organization--is written for the writer, not the reader. If anyone reads it (blog or memo), reactions range from disinterest, anger, boredom, amusement, etc.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.