Jogging with Rudy…

My paternal grandfather was a tank commander under General Patton in WW2. He was actually in the signal corps before he was pressed into tank duty. The attrition rate was so high (American tanks were underarmored and slow compared to German tanks) that they had to start pulling people from other areas to help them man the tanks.

He was assigned to a tank with rocket launchers. These were the tanks that were targeted first – because they could wreak havoc and devastation. He rolled into battle in a target. Brave? Maybe.

But – he made it through until the end of the war. I’d like to think that it was because he was Gaffney smart, but it was probably a combination of smarts, strength and a LOT of luck.

After the war ended, he (Sgt. LF Gaffney) was assigned to Nuremberg. He was assigned as a personal guard for Rudolf Hess. Yes. THAT Rudolf Hess. Every morning, this simple man from North Carolina was chained to a war criminal so that Rudolf could go jogging. My grandfather was chosen because he was physically fit enough to keep up. Did he want to jog with Rudy? Probably not. But – he did it. Why?

Because he did what he said he was going to do. He signed up and he committed to being there.

Did he sign up to be a target? No. Did he sign up to be chained to the Deputy Führer? Hell no.

He signed up and gave his word that he’d do what was required.

He showed up and just DID IT. It was hard. I’m sure it was terrifying. There were things that Grandaddy would never talk about. Things he did. Things they did.

But, he showed up and did his job and went home. Because that’s exactly what he said he was going to do.

All WE have to do is show up and do what we say we’re going to do.

That’s what wins our wars. Our wars are smaller, but they’re won by showing up and doing what we signed up to do. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes terrifying.

There’s no cannon pointed at us. There’s no bloodthirsty army after us. There’s no monster chained to our wrists.

Maybe that’s the problem.

Do we need to have a gun pointed at us to make us move?

A lot of us do.

Guns come in many forms. I point guns at myself all the time – praying that they never go off.

What are you afraid of? What pushes you forward?

Reward? Fear? Expectation? Hope?

Some guns help me move forward when I don’t have the fortitude to move otherwise. I want to go home. I want the war to end. I want to take the chain off and send the monster back to it’s cell.

But I thank the guns. I thank the monsters – because without them, getting home wouldn’t be near as sweet.

We need monsters to run from sometimes – and sometimes the monster is the only thing that keeps us running.

What’s your gun? Where’s your Rudy?