damn few

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i saw act of valor with the rents on saturday afternoon.

to say it was “good” simply would not do it justice. it is unbelievably powerful and a hands-down must see for, well to be quite honest, for every single american. okay, so the acting isn’t going to warrant any academy-award nominations but then again, that’s because the stars of this film are actual active-duty U.S. navy SEALs and not members of hollywood’s elite -a detail that i believe only serves to enhance the impact of this 101 minute-long adrenaline-rush.

it should come as no surprise to anyone that i shed not just one, but about ten thousand and one tears over the course of that hour and a half(ish) and somehow the emotion hit me even harder once i exited the theatre. in fact, i broke down with such fervor that my parents heavily encouraged me to take a detour to the ladies’ restroom to compose myself before returning to the theatre lobby (yep, it was that bad).

and while yes, i feel like these past few weeks have been filled with tales of my emotional instability (i know what you’re assuming, but no, that surprisingly has nothing to do with it), i can’t help but think that i would have had the same reaction regardless of the fact that “crying” seems to be my most frequent hobby of late.

because this film just made me realize how much i have taken our military for granted -how infrequently i take a moment out of my day to say a prayer for the countless men and women scattered across the globe whose selfless service keeps my freedom (and in turn, my family) safe at night.

and i think i began to cry out of guilt. out of disgust for my own selfishness. out of empathy for every single wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc. who wakes up and faces another day without their loved one safe at home. out of love and admiration for the friends that, at this very moment, are overseas defending our nation. i think i just flat out cried for it all. and after i had cleared the snot from my nose (cute) and wiped the salty specs from my cheeks, i took a deep breath and smiled.

i am thankful this film gave me a swift punch in the tear ducts to remind me of the fact that i have so much to be grateful for. and i pray that i never take that fact for granted again.

so do me a favor (and yourself one, too), go see this movie. and then thank someone you know (or even someone you don’t know) in the military today. and tomorrow. and every day after that.

because i just did. and will continue to.

“so live your life that the fear of death may never enter your heart. trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. prepare a noble death sone for the day when you go over the great divide.

always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. show respect to all people and gravel to none.

when you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. if you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

when it comes to your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

~native american shawnee chief tecumseh

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