As an American I thought I came from a struggling home, I felt like a spoiled brat after meeting these folks.
Well you read that pretty lengthy article about how I obtained my parachutist badge. This series is just here to give you a pat on the back and say it is ok, and to control what you can control. I discussed in the last article the struggles and dangerous scenarios I faced on the way to the milestone. Other things happened that showed how God protected me but we will re-vist that later.
You know, there are moments in the military or if I am at liberty to say law enforcement where it is not all about ‘blood and guts.’ I can tell you there were times my soul left my body from laughing so hard. Like the time we almost ran into a donkey and he or she looked at us proceeded to curse us out…We think. Apparently he or she was so shaken it proceeded to ‘you know’ relieve itself on the road and continued to squeal and wale. We were rolling.
That misadventure was in Somalia, Africa during Operation Restore Hope where I was apart of 10th Mountain’s most important mission in decades. I have some pleasant memories like spending my birthday there and also really learning about ‘me’ as a young man. I did more than 30 security missions going from village to village. Some danger involved because of the warlords but I really liked doing these missions. It was an amazing experience mixed with wonder.
What impacted me more was how the children were there. These kids I met in one of the villages were so curious about me and other African American soldiers.
What impacted me more was how the children were there. The kids pictured are from one of the villages we helped out.They were so curious about me and other African American soldiers. We often found ourselves in these comical arguments as they pointed at us laughing saying ‘You Somali’ and we are like ‘We are American, we look like you’ and they will laugh and say “No you are Somali.” So funny, and they treated us like rock stars, and it was a cool experience being welcomed. I always wonder what happened to them, but I never forget what they taught me.
I learned you can do more than you think with what you have. Those amazing people would use everything in their hands to the maximum potential. Here is a MRE (Meals Ready To Eat)wrapper. I think I have seen more uses for this thing and water bottles than I could ever imagine. Nothing is wasted…As an American I thought I came from a struggling home, I felt like a spoiled brat after meeting these folks. I was knocked to the floor with humility and awe of my limited view of the world. You simply just know what you know.
One of my all time favorite documentaries When We Were Kings had the quote of the movie from none other than the great Muhammed Ali. When We Were Kings was the biopic of the famed ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ fight. Although I heard this quote from Ali after returning to the states, I know what he meant to the core. Ali addressed the people of Zaire and told them ” We are not as good as you.” He went on to say that there was a dignity to them that we don’t have in America…I saw that first hand, and I look at the picture of those kids I met when I get down sometimes and try to remember how blessed I am. So with that said I will leave you with this… Use what you have with no apologies. If God gave it to you, He can trust you.
If God gives you this, swing with all your might. It is what you need for the moment.
If God gives you this, swing carefully, because He believes He can trust you.
‘Use what you got’, because you are worthy of great and mighty things you may not know you are being groomed for.
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