General Lehnert's speech
is excellent, and I am all for proper recognition of our warriors. And the recognition needs to continue. But we must realize the true reward for military service will be the knowledge that our sacrifices ensure the survival of the greatest nation on earth, and will not generally come from the public at large. Therefore, I commend "On Being a Sheepdog" from Redstate
. Here is the essence:
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident."[...]
"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens?
What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.[...]
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. [...]
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M—16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."
Doug Hanson 7 11 06