I am no one. I am the person you see but do not perceive.
I am the no one that makes your existence possible.
I am the no one who crossed the Atlantic leaving my prospering business only to watch my family become horribly sick and die in that over-crowded ship so that you could have the freedom to worship as you choose and not have a government tell you how to worship.
I am the no one who heard General Washington plead for volunteers. I am the no one who wore woolen uniforms in the sweltering summer heat and watched my comrades die in my arms during the frigid winter at Valley Forge. I am the no one who saw their feet turn black from frostbite and held them firmly as the surgeon cut out the gangrene, only to prolong the time before the arms of death held them.
I am the no one who killed my brothers at Gettysburg. I am the no one who believed freedom was for every man.
I am the no one who butchered Native American Indians at Wounded Knee; woman and children shot to death or bayoneted from orders up high. Why? I am the no one at Little Bighorn with General Custer paying the price for the deeds of greed.
I am the no one who inhaled mustard gas in France so that you could breathe freely and play politician while I buried too many of my comrades. Only to return a few years later to see the Channel turn red from the blood of my comrades on the Normandy beaches.
I am the no one who shouted to the Generals at Pearl Harbor - that the new thing - radar - really worked but no one believed me. I am the no one on the USS Arizona who died not knowing what was happening. I am the no one on Iwo Jima - no atheists there that day.
I am the no one who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Only to hear how savage we were and the pointless arguments of the "ethics" of war! I am the no one who gave you that freedom to debate without getting your hands dirty.
I am the no one who opened the oven doors at Auschwitz to see the true evil man can do to man. And yet, no one believed no one. I am the no one who carried the emaciated, breathing skeleton of a man to the gurney to recover and to weep as he realized his family had been decimated.
I am the no one freezing in Korea fighting an endless army only to fall victim to politics and consider the DMZ a victory I am the no one who heard General MacArthur say, "no one can win a war in Asia". Then history repeated itself in Vietnam. Guess the old General was right. Why didn't anyone hear?
I am the no one now in a desert trying to give a foreign gift to a foreign people - the gift of freedom. Funny that most want that gift but not the responsibility that comes with it - constant vigilance.
Am I truly no one? No. My comrades see me and I see them. Funny how fear unites. We see what undesirable tasks must be done. We see the horror of death and not the Hollywood version We see activists protesting and failing to see that it is I and my comrades that have given them the freedom to moan and groan during the day and go home to a nice air conditioned apartment or home to flick a switch and relax and void the mind of the horrors they can only imagine.
I am not a no one. I am the soldier, the sailor, the pilot, the mess cook, the medic, the chaplain, the rabbi, the mechanic. I am all of these. Why?
Because freedom is my life source. Freedom is the gift I give my family. Freedom is the gift I give to mankind. Why do you abuse it so viciously?
You will see me but not know me. You may take me for granted and be ignorant of my needs. But I can look God and my comrades in the eye and say, "I am somebody." Whether I die young or old I will always hold my comrades and be held by them. We have given you a finite gift. Do not lose it because there are only so many no-ones and if we don't stand up, who will?
Joseph P. Kubert