Military Heroes in My Time

By | August 3, 2021

[August 3, 2021]  My first memories are listening to the stories of war veterans tell their stories and the sounds of baseball games played.  Before entering First Grade, I could name the top generals of World War II and Korea.  These men were military heroes in my time.

Combat veterans would tell us kids tales of their wartime service and scare the bejeebers out of us.  Some would show scars on their body from wounds in Combat.  It was their “Red Badge of Courage,” and I know all of us were awed by their experiences.  I gained admiration for those men, standing up against our enemies by putting their lives on the line.

Occasionally, my family would sit down to watch the only channel on our black and white television set.  I saw TV series like Combat!, Rat Patrol, Twelve O’clock High, and McHale’s Navy.  Those men who served in any war were held in high esteem in our communities, and I wanted to be just like them; brave and strong.

I learned that war is not glamorous, fun, or something you would want to do.  If you had to fight in a war, being brave was the most honorable thing a man could do for his country.  As little kids, we knew we would never be heroes, but that did not mean we wanted to show everyone that we were brave.

From veterans, I also learned about the human element in war, that war affects us differently and unpredictably, brings out the best and worst in humans, and that its devastation is nearly unimaginable.  I wanted to be like them; tough, brave, and leading men in a struggle for good over evil.

All of us wanted to be men.  Yeah, and have some fun too.  Yet, to be a man meant you had to prove yourself to others before you could label yourself as such.  You could be a firefighter (I wanted to be one of them too), an astronaut, or you could be an “army man.”

Our preacher in the Southern Baptist church we all attended every Sunday was a good man with good advice.  I asked him how to be a man.  He talked to me about the path to manhood, but it never seemed to align with my immature way of thinking.  Okay, I tried.  He advised me to graduate from school, stay out of trouble with the law, get married and have children, be a good Christian, and don’t be afraid of life.  To me, this didn’t seem very interesting, and I was determined to do it my way.  Only many years later did I understand that he was right.

Growing up, I was an American Patriot and wanted to join the Army.  I still am a patriot.  I was a patriot because of these young men who served in Combat.  When push comes to shove, I wanted good people in my foxhole next to me; men like these men.  Those would be my friends who I could trust and depend on.  Even today, my friends, if I call, they will come.

Maybe, just maybe, that is why I joined the U.S. Army, and it took until they kicked me out of the Army after I maxed their age limit for me to retire.  If I had a choice and my body could withstand it, I’d still be in the Army, just like our military heroes.


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

15 thoughts on “Military Heroes in My Time

  1. ZB22

    The Democrats have made recovered drug addicts heroes, the homeless heroes, arsonists and looters heroes, even violent criminals heroes. Anyone who attacks, mocks or resists a police officer is a hero, women who have abortions are heroes.

  2. Tony Cappalo

    It is fortunate that we have individual men and women who deeply believe that America must be protected and volunteer to take part in military service. Because of their leadership and commitment, the values Americans deeply care about are protected and these same values are sought by the citizenry in many other countries.

    1. Anya B.

      Yes. I also want to point out that the Vietnam War veterans are those that need to be welcomed home…. always.

  3. Harry Donner

    Thanks Gen. Satterfield for another great article. I like this and also hope you make it a regular part of your website. Maybe you could dedicate a page on your tabs to it. Just a thought.

  4. Andrew Dooley

    Gen. Satterfield, I recommend you make this another one of your mini-series. I found it highly entertaining and I think I learned something about you as well. Others have said it but I will repeat it, learn from others how to succeed. Better to learn from their mistakes than to make your own and then be forced to change. Work hard, tell the truth, adopt responsibility. That is what makes you succeed.

    1. Doug Smith

      True enough Andrew. But the world is full of snowflakes that melt at the first spark of fire.

  5. Bryan Z. Lee

    Hi guys. You know, I always interested also in those who want to be leaders and put into those positions simply because they are black, or female, or whatever (reasoning they were discriminated against). That is a joke. If you want to be a leader, then earn it. If you get placed there – bypassing others who have proven themselves – you will fail and fail spectacularly.

  6. KenFBrown

    Good one, Gen. Satterfield. Keep these coming our way.

    1. Plato

      Another reason I keep coming back to this leadership website. Leadership is not easy. It means trying to figure out why some leaders are more successful than others. The easiest way (altho still hard) is to read and listen to those who were successful and try to understand what they see and think.

      1. Willie Strumburger

        Many of us here that are regular readers think so as well. We are hear nearly every day. The reason is simple, it takes effort to be a leader and that means spending extra time studiying and learning more about other leaders.

  7. Fred Weber

    I really enjoyed today’s article. It is always good for me to get a peek on the inside of a senior military officer. This article gives me the chance.

    1. Colleen Ramirez

      Great comment, Fred. Just what I was thinking as well.


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