Yesterday was a good day. A busy day, but a good day nonetheless. Lots of different things going on – and it’s hard to pick a highlight. But, between a kick-ass physical therapy session, an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon – who gave me the “green light” to START RUNNING again, attending a Distinguished Flying Cross award presentation (earned by a good friend and Gunfighter….this is a big deal – these are rarely awarded), and playing a gig downtown San Diego – it’s hard to pick.
So I won’t.
My orthopedic surgeon was very forthright and honest about my running future. With my arthritis the way it is – caused partially by lupus, but also from normal “wear and tear” – it’s safe to say I probably won’t run a marathon ever again. Obviously, one never wants to say “never”. That being said – I’m a realist with my body and it’s physical capabilities. Some things are better for me than others…. and even being able to run for 30 minutes, is forevermore an unexpected gift.
If anything, running will compliment my fitness. I’ll most definitely keep up the swimming – that will undoubtedly be a lifelong passion. Throw in some indoor rowing, regular strength training – and voila! My quads and leg muscles will hopefully be strong enough to take away some of the force from my knees when I run.
As for the running itself – I start tomorrow in physical therapy, on the treadmill with a combination of running and walking. Couldn’t be more excited!
However, I think what I was (by FAR) the most excited about, and honored to attend – was the Distinguished Flying Cross Ceremony. I’ve thought so much about what happened with the Gunfighters in Afghanistan last year, all of my fellow spouses on this end, and how – in deployment terms – there were a lot of difficult moments. Sometimes it feels like, when you’ve lost so much or gone through some really tough times, it’s hard to celebrate the good bits.
But we MUST.
The criteria for the Distinguished Flying Cross are as follows:
The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. The performance of the act of heroism must be evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty. The extraordinary achievement must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from his comrades or from other persons in similar circumstances. Awards will be made only to recognize single acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement and will not be made in recognition of sustained operational activities against an armed enemy.
Even though the events that transpired in June of last year were horrific in their own right, at the end of the day, 100+ Marines on the ground – nearly out of ammunition and surrounded by enemy forces – are alive because of the heroic actions of these pilots and flight crews. The award recipients are true heroes, in every sense of the word.
Yesterday’s ceremony was one of the great moments, noting courage in extreme danger, recognizing valor and sacrifice, and ultimately distinguishing the ethos of US Marines, two in particular. I am so grateful to these Marines and to those who serve our country – THANK YOU!