In 2008, I read the Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. If you have not read it, please do. In June of 2005, Luttrell was a member of a 4-man U. S. Navy SEAL team that went into the Afghanistan mountains near the border of Pakistan. Their mission was to capture or kill an al Qaeda leader operating in a Taliban stronghold.
While on this mission, three goat herders, one only 14 years old, and about 100 goats stumbled right into their unit. The tactical decision was clear. The three Afghans had to die; Casualties of war. There were an estimated 140 heavily armed Taliban fighters in the area. To let these individuals go free would, without a shadow of a doubt, put the lives of the SEAL Team in serious jeopardy. Yet, the decision was made to release the non-combatants. The act of mercy cost three SEALS their lives. One of those was SGT 2 Matthew Gene Axelson. Axelson’s dying words to a severely wounded Luttrell were, “You stay alive, Marcus. And tell Cindy I love her.”
Toward the end of Lone Survivor, Luttrell mentions that Axelson was buried in Chico, CA. I made a promise the moment I read this that I would pay my respects to this fallen hero. Chico is only 90 miles from my home. Over the ensuing 3 years, I have been in or through Chico a dozen times for work. On most of those occasions, I never thought of Axelson. The few times I did remember, it just wasn’t convenient. I was too busy or so I told myself.
Then late last June, I knew I was going to be passing through the town again. I asked my daughter Sherry to please do her computer search magic and try and find where SGT 2 Matthew Axelson was interned in 2005 in Chico, CA. Within an hour she called me to say it was the Glen Oaks Memorial Park and gave me the address.
By the time I arrived, there was no one in the office to direct me to the grave. It was 96 degrees Fahrenheit. There are nearly 11,000 interned there. After an hour of walking up one isle and down another, I was sweating profusely and starting to get discouraged. Then I began thinking about all the suffering endured by Axelson over the last few hours of his life and was shamed into continuing the search. How pathetic? I kept at it another 20 minutes when my favorite bird, a magpie, started squawking like crazy and hoping around a specific grave. I thought this must be a sign. It wasn’t. I gave it another 15 minutes and then accepted a random search was not the way to do it.
This week, I made a point to visit Glen Oaks during working hours and was directed to the proper grave site. SGT 2 Axelson was 29 years forever young. I sat on the grass in front of the grave for a few moments and said a silent prayer for Matt and for his wife Cindy. Matthew Axelson gave his life for this country and it took me three years to keep my promise to honor him. I both wanted and expected to feel guilt. Why did it take me so long to keep my promise? Yet, that emotion did not surface. Rather there was a calm resolve of acceptance. It was almost as if there was some dimension eluding my comprehension. Like a name or a place right on the tip of your tongue but the harder you try to bring it forth the deeper it recedes.
It wasn’t until many miles down the highway that the answer came to me in an instant. I have been keeping that promise to the very best of my limited abilities. Two Tax Day protests in Sacramento, both 9-12 Marches in DC, over 40 blogs dealing with liberals politicians and an outspoken member of the Tea Party Patriots. I was honoring Matt in ways he would have wanted, fighting to preserve our country.
I do not have and never had the courage of a Matthew Axelson. Yet for him and all those who have given their lives for the cause of freedom, we must all do whatever we can to be worthy of their sacrifice and the lifelong pain inflicted upon their families. The progressives/liberals have been chipping away at our freedoms for decades. Starting in 2009, with control of both Houses of Congress and the White House, the chipping hammers were stored away and the wrecking ball came out.
Tens of millions of Americans are aware that the Ruling Class inside the DC beltway has been running a shell game on us for a very long time. This was on full display with the “debt ceiling crisis” charade. Those with an R behind their names pointed accusing fingers at those with a D behind their names and vice versa. The Democrat party has been totally co-opted by those who would spend us into financial collapse. The Republican leadership has become just as corrupted. They are like drug addicts. They will do or say anything to get their next fix. They increase our debt by 7 trillion dollars and say it is a tax cut because it wasn’t the planned $10 trillion of increases. They don’t seem to care that our dollar is turning into Monopoly money. We can’t pay our troops, build aircraft carriers, and buy fuel for our planes with Monopoly money. Does this remind you of the USSR a couple decades ago? China’s debt to GDP is 17%; ours is now 97%!
We awoke just in time in 2010 and prevent our country from bleeding out. Now we must complete the operation to save our Republic. We only have one chance. We must clean house in 2012. Every politician who voted for Obama-care, every member of the House who voted against Cut, Cap and Balance and every Senator that voted for the debt limit increase must be rejected and ejected in 2012. We must replace them with individuals who are fiscal conservatives. If we do not, may God forgive us for our Grandchildren will not.