You know me, right? Good ol' Gunfighter… your pal who tells that odd funny story, loves to talk about his family, good time guy who is more passionate about progressive politics than he is about Rugby.
I've blabbed to pretty much all who will listen, about my thoughts on just about everything… but today, I'm going to tell you about my core beliefs. You probably already know much of what makes me tick, but I am going to give you the whole enchilada today.
I'm a Warrior. Battle is not only my trade, it is my profession. I am trained to it. I am indoctrinated in it. It is why I draw breath every day.
Do you know what that means? I'll tell you what it doesn't mean… it doesn't mean that I spend my days looking for a fight. It doesn't mean that I welcome or relish violence. It doesn't mean that I am an unthinking berserker that would just as soon shoot you as talk to you. No. Not at all. I'd like to talk… and probably will ramble on a bit… but I am writing this without a script, and am unlikely to edit it. Buckle up. I'd like to talk about my own personal warrior ethos.
In my world, everyone feels safer when a warrior is around, because a warrior is honor-bound to help those that might not be able to help themselves so much. In my view, a warrior opposes injustice, whether it is physical or moral injustice, a warrior doesn't stand silent. In my view, a warrior avoids conflict, but having entered a conflict, is unswerving in achieving his goal. A warrior is kind. A warrior is tender. A warrior is God's man above all things. A warrior seeks guidance and wisdom from those around him, and will share those things with others when asked of him. A warrior is aware of his own mortality. A warrior is the friend and guardian of all children, not just his own. A warrior is unselfish. A warrior is victorious over pain, discomfort, and the elements. A warrior respects nature. A warrior despises corruption. A warrior is well-read. A warrior can never be accused of being lazy or not hard-working.
Like most warriors, I have my own role models who have shaped the warrior that I have become. Some of those models were military men. Men who fought with honor, skill and intrepidity like Audie Murphy, Salah ad-Din; "Mad" Anthony Wayne, Nathaniel Greene, George Washington, John Ripley, and the Entire 54th Massachusetts volunteer Infantry regiment; Miyamoto Musashi; and Jean De La Valette.
Some of those warriors were fictitious, Brave Horatious, The Captain of The Gate; Lazarus Long; Richard Sharpe; Stephen Maturin; and Jack Aubrey; John Dean; William "Wild Bill" Fogarty; and Captain Ted Lenahan.
Not all of my role models were warriors or soldiers. Some of those models were scholars, people who taught me the importance of knowledge and of history, and of the joy of learning for learning's sake: My wife, Susan; Mrs Ruth Deusinger (she was my high-school history teacher, and she was the BEST); John Murphy; Thomas Tsirikos; Ron Martino; and Joseph Caliguire.
Still other role models were members of my family: My mother's mother, a tireless servant of God, and nurturer of a troubled boy who became, to all reports, a decent man, despite the odds; my mother's father, a professional linguist and educator, from whom I inherited the gift of languages.
Many of my role models were men and women of faith: Martin Luther; Saints Cyril & Methodius; Saint Martin of Tours; Saint Martin DePorres; Martin Luther King; Saint Paul The Apostle; and of course, Jesus of Nazareth whom we call The Christ.
I strive, and fail, daily, to emulate what is good in all of these people, and others, believing that if I can, I will be the warrior that I am called to be: The defender of truth, justice, children, women, knowledge, and of the faith.
As one of those role models once said: "Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me, Amen."