A few years ago, on a supply delivery route just outside of Baghdad, Lieutenant Alvin Shell and a few other U.S. soldiers from his unit were set on fire from a rocket-propelled grenade (“RPG”) attack.  While covered with gasoline, Lieutenant Shell ran back into the fire to rescue the other soldiers from his team.  He pulled them out and led them two miles back to Camp Victory where he finally collapsed, covered with burns. When everyone told him he was a hero, Lieutenant Alvin Shell disagreed. “I’m not a hero” he said.  “A hero is a sandwich…I’m a paratrooper.”

Regardless of your views about the Iraq war, take time to reflect over and appreciate your holiday break, and the fact that our soldiers are finally returning home after years in Iraq, from brutal missions which are now concluded.  Think about Lieutenant Alvin Shell’s story the next time you find yourself complaining about the way your food is cooked in a restaurant, complaining about the economy or about your general lot in life.  Think about Lieutenant Shell the next time you take on a new task and ask yourself whether you are truly doing your best.  Be grateful for what you have, regardless of how little or insignificant.  Be grateful for true heroes like Lieutenant Alvin Shell.  We need more heroes.

Welcome home troops.  Happy Holidays to all.

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