By: Steve Trubilla
John McGinty, have you ever heard of him?
Your children know the names of sports figures, popular music icons, and the political person of the moment, but they probably never heard of Mr. McGinty.
I recently learned John died on 17 January 2014. I did not see it on the news, and there was no fanfare.
So who was John and should your children know his name? I think they should, more than this I think it is tragic that they do not.
He was a United States Marine that on 18 July 1966, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Viet Nam, was awarded the Medal of Honor.
He bled for this country and then humbly avoided notoriety after he had been awarded our nation’s highest honor for valor and heroism.
To learn more about this amazing Christian patriot, you can search his name on the Internet.
Tonight, tell your children of him. They are not going to hear his story or so many others like it in school.
I hear a lot of people complaining about our youth today. Many say they are lazy, have no direction and cannot be counted on.
Could it be that they are not really all that different than young people always have been? Maybe what has changed is the quality and moral character of adults that should be leading them to success.
Think back when you were full of ambition, with dreams of the future. How, maybe, you were going to change the world.
What happened, did you become disillusioned and disappointed in those you wanted to follow? At some point did you just give in, and say: “Well there is nothing I can do?”
Is this the magic moment when we became old and decided to blame the next generation for everything?
The problems in our country have very little to do with our young people. They did not create our national debt, destroy our industrial base, break down our borders, or any of the many others things the “adults” seem incapable of fixings.
To my knowledge there is no youth movement to cause racial hatred, attack Christianity, or undermine and redefine our Constitution.
Thinking back to John McGinty, where do we get such men?
I will tell you where they come from; they are from every small and big town in America.
They come from right here in Franklin County, North Carolina.
Our youth are truly the hope of the future.
Every time I see the report of a young person joining the military, I think back to the many I have known.
It often carries me to many memories; some good, and some not so good.
I have seen them in “Every Climb and Place:” in the lava fields in Iceland, in the jungles of Okinawa, and moving across the sands of Saudi Arabia.
I have seen them at forward operating bases in Afghanistan, and walking patrol in Iraq.
I even remember a story of a young man named Asher Johnson, who at age 15, lied his way into the military, to do his part during World War II. Maybe you have heard of him. Tell your children his story, too.
Some call them kids, and true, many may be very young, but kids no.
They are young lions, full of life, ready, willing and capable of facing the future.
They go into harm’s way simply because we ask them to.
If one of them happens to be your son, daughter, brother, or sister, and you are proud of them, you should be.
There are many other young people doing wonderful things, and we should be proud of them as well.
Let’s not blame the kids. Let us try to be the example they want us to be.
Tonight, while we all sleep in our beds, there is an American trooper walking the passes of Kandahar, gunned up, and ready at the point of the spear.
There is an 18-year-old “kid” at a place called Ghazni that you never heard of, pulling security while his buddies are sliding mirrors under a foreign national’s privately owned vehicle looking for explosives.
It can go very bad, very fast. He knows it, but he does it.
Hard does not matter. They do their jobs. Ironically the student “kid” becomes the teacher as they set the example for the adult to follow.
Imagine what is possible if the adult leaders of our country did their job instead of giving excuses why they cannot.
To my old friend John, until we meet again, “Fair Winds and Following Seas; Semper Fi, Devil Dog!
“If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.”
Your North Carolina State Senator Chad Barefoot would like to know what issues are most important to you. Feel free to call his office at 919-715-3036 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.