Have you ever looked at a Soldier's combat boots? The soles are worn, they are scuffed up and could use a good polish. Sure they protect the soldier's feet from the elements, but do you ever take the time to wonder where those boots have been? The far away lands they have walked on. The places they have ran. The circumstances they have run from. A Soldier's combat boots can tell you a lot about the Veteran's time in the service.
Today's Service member's feet have been boots on ground pretty much globally.Those boots have been more places Worldwide than any other pair of shoes. They walked the desert sands during the Gulf War. They did it again after 9/11. From there those boots went to Afghanistan. Where they still walk the walk. They still help carry the wounded. They still help take a Service Member away from a fire fight. Those boots help the every day person try and live a better life.
In the 1960's-1970's, they walked through the jungles of Vietnam. They waded through the rice fields and through the Monsoons to fight a virtually invisible enemy. They carried their wounded back to the hospital tents. They carried the service member who was in a war that was not supported by some. They brought them back to a nation that shunned them for simply following orders.
In the 1950's, those combat boots went to Korea. They were once again on the feet of a Veteran's who, most of them fought in the WWII, again trying to make a life better for people. Those boots helped establish the DMZ, that is still kept today.
In the 1940's, those combat boots were put to the test. In a war that spanned across two continents. Europe and Asia. Those boots fought the injustice that was brought down by the Nazis.They stormed the beaches of Normandy. They battled their way across France, Belgium and the Netherlands. They marched into Germany in hopes of liberation. They were on the feet of our Veterans when they saw the lowest of what Humans could do to each other when they discovered the Concentration Camps. In 1941, those combat boots were boots on ground in Asia. They fought against the Jungles of the South Pacific to the decks of our finest ships fighting of Kamikaze Pilots. Those boots liberated the Philippines with McArthur and so many more countries.
At the turn of the century, they were on the feet of those in the trenches fighting in a War that was herald as the "Bloodiest the World had ever seen." They were on the feet of those who went over the top into the unknown. They tried to protect against trench rot, but the elements were to strong. WWI had them battling it out in the country side of France and Belgium. They were there because a student was disgruntled with the Hierarchy and Politics that played with the lives of the poor.
For a brief time in history, these boots were in the War of 1812. A war that only lasted 32 months.
It was the Civil War, that saw these boots, in a war that pitted Americans against each other. The North vs the South. These boots marched across the Eastern States fighting for what was right for them. Whether it was to declare slaves free or remove the harsh taxation on Cotton put upon by the North. Over four years, those boots saw battle in 237 named battles.
In American history, it was the Revolutionary War that those boots were on the feet of those gaining independence. They fought against oppression from a Country that had taxed its colonies to death. They fought for their own country. Those boots where on those who were at the birth of this Nation.
It goes without saying that we have lost a lot of combat boots along the way. Those who have died wearing them into battle. Remember the Battlefield Cross. Those boots at the base, they are those soldier's. Theirs only. No one else has worn them. They carried him to their final moments. And along with their helmet, Dog Tags and rifle, they deserve respect.
So when you are looking at the boots of a Soldier, whether they are already a Veteran or they are still proudly serving, remember they have walked the walk in combat boots in order for you to stand free today.