Being a Man
I've had men weep in front of me while talking about World War II. These were men who trudged up hill while bullets kicked up dirt all around them. These are true heroes who have the scars of battle which I will know nothing of, although I try.
I listen to their history of pulling comrades to safety, patching up wounds in the midst of battle, and freezing in foxholes in Bastogne. These are warriors in the truest sense.
Because some have wept in front of me are they less of a man? No, they have shown me true emotions of a human, yet they emerged as something greater than I will ever know.
I listen close when they have spoken about their triumphs and their failures about being a guy. I listen closer as they express fear of death and fears of the unknown in their current situation while in the therapy gym. But haven't they faced that before running uphill towards gun fire?
The men I see for therapy are fun to be around, and with the right combination of guys in the room it is riotous. Men who were quiet a week before will suddenly surprise me with a wisecrack that will have the room rolling. I try to get the men engaged in their therapy as soon as I see them and will try to connect in some way with them.
Since my father was in the military, we had an opportunity to travel around the United States and to many countries in Europe. And with my own travels I have many stories that I can relate with them. Sometimes this is not enough and I will have to sit down at their bedside and shoot the breeze for a while about Mustangs (my brother had a '66 we use to fix up), children, wives, and why the medical establishment is the way it is.
This helps them and it helps me to get to know the men who have helped shape this great country of ours.