My father was a World War II combat veteran who was wounded in the Normandy campaign. Like all baby boomers who had fathers who were World War II vets, I ask the question that millions of children asked their fathers. “Daddy, what did you do in the war?” The only answer I ever received was “Nothing.”
Based on the medals my father had tucked away, I knew that wasn’t true. When I asked my mother why my father wouldn’t tell me of his war experiences, she replied, “Your father doesn’t talk about it.” The look on her face and the tone of her voice made it clear that it was a question that was not to be asked again. She could put fear in the heart of the devil with that look. Anyone who has seen it knows what I mean.
Near the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars called the house asking for my father. They wanted him speak about his wartime experiences. His response was, “If they call again, tell them I am not interested.” My father passed away at the age of 93. It was at his funeral that I learned about some of his wartime experiences from a relative and fellow veteran.
My father’s attitude about his wartime experiences is typical of most combat veterans of any war. They don’t pound their chests and brag about what they did. They don’t flash their medals and they don’t tout their experiences for political or personal gain.
A hero isn’t someone who just does his duty. A hero is someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty. In ordering the death of bin Laden, President Obama did his duty. He did exactly what any president in that situation would do. Nothing more than that and thankfully, nothing less.
There is nothing heroic about giving an order you have to give and then watching the action from thousands of miles of miles away via satellite feed. If anyone has a right to “spike the football” over the death of bin Laden, it’s Seal Team 6 - and there is zero chance that will happen. They are real heroes.