The true stories of our brave military would fill endless tomes, countless libraries.
But looking at one story of one life of sacrifice can personalize all the hundreds of thousands of other such men and women who have served, and are serving.
Case in point: Dr. Bill Krissoff and his sons, Nate and Austin.
Bill was a skilled orthopedic surgeon with a prosperous practice in Truckee, California.
Both sons excelled in studies, music and athletics. And both brothers, following the horrific attacks of 9/11, joined the Marine Corps.
The subsequent events will make the biggest curmudgeon feel a tug at their heart and a tear or two.
Watch, and have some kleenex handy.
This is what makes America the greatest experiment in liberty the world has ever known: the compassion, the courage and the integrity of her people.
To choose to serve rather than live in comfort and safety is noble.
Dr. Krissoff and his wife Christine had already given a son in service to his country. 1Lt Nate Krissoff paid the last full measure of devotion while on tour in Iraq. His parents could have, quite understandably, mourned and returned to their every day lives.
Austin, at Officers’ Candidate School at Quantico, had lost his brother and friend. But what he witnessed in his father’s reaction is telling, and points to where the Krissoff sons learned their love of duty and country.
Dr. Krissoff’s answer to President George W. Bush, who had asked if he or his staff could do anything for the families of the fallen, was both touching and humorous:
“Well yes, sir, there is. I’m an orthopedic surgeon and I want to join the Navy Medical Core but they told me I was too old. and…no disrespect…but I’m younger than you are.”
W. came through, and so did Dr. Krissoff.
Dr. Krissoff reflects:
“My time in Afghanistan was the most indelible experience of my life.”
What a marvelous testament to the stellar character of our Armed Forces.
Our warriors, those who choose to put on the uniform to protect America, her citizens and our freedoms, truly embody John 15:13:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.