Invisible Heroes

First off, thank you for all your wonderful comments on Monday’s post. In case you missed it, in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness week, I did a Q & A, and answered your questions, and I was just so touched by all your compassionate and loving responses. So thank you – the world needs more empathetic people like you!

ALSO – For whatever reason, this week, I have gotten a surge in questions/emails asking for blogging tips. And I actually have an e-book called, My Blogging Tips” — you can get it here!

So I was traveling all day yesterday.

After my shoot last week, my parents and I snuck away to Utah for a weekend of skiing. I had a couple days off, and after my mom’s stroke last year, I’ve fully embraced my new found appreciation for the fragility of life, and so I’ve adopted the motto that life is short, and you should just go for it, in every aspect of life.

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Hence why, this morning, I sent an email to Ben Higgins, the former Bachelor, nonchalantly giving him my phone number.

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But that’s a story for a different day. (Hi Ben, I know you got that Google Alert just now 😉 )

But flying into JFK, it was a bit of a jarring reality check, from the cozy mountain oasis I left that morning.

Whenever I’m with my parents, I suddenly become super aware of how potentially dangerous New York City is. I mean, living here, that thought never even crosses my mind. Frankly, I feel safer in Manhattan than I do back in Ohio. But, whenever I spend time with my parental units, I suddenly see my existence through their eyes – and the worries it presents them.

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So walking into JFK, I saw several military soldiers, in uniform, patrolling the airport with big rifles. And honestly it scared me a little bit.

But I proceeded to schlep my bags down to the subway, and waited on the Queens platform for the train to take me on the long trip back to Manhattan.

And it was getting dark, and – not that I was getting scared – I mean, I was happy as a clam, chomping away on my baby carrots and listening to a Bachelor recap podcast – but I noticed four police officers, patrolling the platform.

Dang, apparently, security is on high alert, I thought.

And when I got off at my station – there were four more police officers.

For the first time, I recognized the lengths we’re going to for our safety.

But there was something that happened, between the airport and when I arrived at my front door.

Back at baggage claim, when I saw that young man in the military, all dressed up in his camo and carrying that big gun…my initial thought was fear. But then, it was like my eyes were given this new filter. Because I suddenly saw that solider as someone’s son. Maybe someone’s husband, or boyfriend. And here he was, serving me. Protecting me, with his own life, if necessary.

And so, I walked over to him, and looked him in the eye, and said, “Thank you for your service.” 

Our eyes locked for a minute, and I could see this shift in his posture. I just felt this appreciation that someone noticed. The sacrifice he was making was being acknowledged.

And in the most earnest voice I think I’ve ever head in my life, he goes, “Thank you, ma’am.” 

Which, yeah I know sounds kind of anti-climactic — but it was just the way he said it — it made me want to cry.

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That’s the thing. I feel like in all the politics and gun debates and insult hurling that is so rampant in today’s culture, we’ve forgotten that there are men and women who are actively serving us each and every day – our military and our law enforcement officers.

Quietly. Humbly. If we’re not looking for it, we wouldn’t even know.

In recent weeks here, our nation has been so focused on the “bad guys.” Which, rightfully so after the tragedies we’ve endured as a nation. But what about the good guys?

The men and women who fly under the radar each and every day…seemingly forgotten…or worse — villainized because of a handful of “bad apples.”

I think so often, we forget that freedom isn’t free.

I kept thinking about that during the olympics. Watching the North Korean cheerleaders, who charmed their way into our hearts with their peppy chanting, synchronized songs, and permanent smiles.

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The story of these 229 women is not so glamourous. (For perspective, North Korea only sent 22 athletes). But these women were hand picked and taken from college by the regime after meeting certain height, beauty, and family pedigree specifications, and then forced to travel to the games. They were chaperoned by male counterparts literally the entire time, forbidden to talk to anyone, and forbidden to discuss the outside world when they return to North Korea. You can read about it here – from one of these young women who escaped.

But that is a reality for some people. In 2018. Thankfully that is not our story here in the United States, and the free world.

But that privilege came at a price. And continues to come at a price.

One that that young man in the airport pays for me each and every day.

It’s time we look up from our Snapchat filters, and take a break from bashing our political opponents, to notice. And acknowledge.

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137 thoughts on “Invisible Heroes

  1. I never comment here, but want you to know that I love your posts and your beautiful spirit. Of course you saw that young man and the sacrifice he was giving for you and the rest of us. Of course you went and made sure you know you saw him. God bless your beautiful soul! I know He’s using it to bless many, many others.

    1. Oh gosh thank you Karen, that seriously means so much. I am incredibly touched. Big hugs to you xox

    1. Thank you so much. Yeah it’s incredibly sad. Truly tragic, in fact. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  2. Hugs and welcome back to NY and NYC!! Yes, protection has been on an extremely high alert as of late, with the school shooting. Unfortunately, all around upstate NY and in other states, there have been a SLEW of call in threats that have put schools on lockdown. Some have even sent students home early. This whole idea by Trump of having teachers with guns is absolutely hideous. What the schools need (and mine has) is what we call a resource officer. They are not just a “security officer” that hangs out in the lobby, but they make the rounds of the school, get to know the kids, even sponsor activities to interact with kids. They become more invested in the school and the kids. It sounds to me like that Parkland HS in Florida had was just “security officers” that “watched the door” etc.. but didn’t have a whole investment in the place. Add that to the fact that their security cameras were found to be on a 20 minute delay of what appeared on their monitors and eeeeeek!! Trump obviously assumes that all officers are like that when he said that “teachers would be more invested”. Yes they would be, but when it comes to protecting the kids against a shooter, that investment, PLUS the professional training, is what you get in a true “resource officer.” Thinking teachers with a handgun can go up against a fully armed shooter is nuts. Yes, I saw the cheerleaders. They were all COMMANDED to do it or else. The same was true not too many years ago with the Summer Olympics in Beijing. They had a TON of people in the choreography of their opening and closing ceremonies. No cheerleaders. But you know they had to rehearse and rehearse until they were dead to the world. Now given that the Olympics was in South Korea, I’m sure they had to rehearse for their ceremonies, but as with other more democratic nations, I am sure that banishment or death was not on the chopping block. North Korea and China are both Communist and it was all with no human rights. I’m amazed Beijing has another Olympics so fast 2022 Winter. Now wait a minute. We just had the 2018 in S Korea, 2020 Summer is in Tokyo, and the 2022 Winter is in Beijing. When will The Olympics finally make it out of The Orient?? Oh well. Those cities were granted. Hugs and Love xoxoxoxo

    1. Gosh that is so sad. And so true – those men and women put so much of their strength heart and soul into protecting us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Hugs and love xox

  3. It is important to show gratitude. Love your thanking the young solider for his service. So many are invisible and taken for granted. Thank you for your expression of thankfulness, Caralyn. Blessings! XOXOX

    1. I think you’re so right – gratitude is so important. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  4. Amen to that! It’s fun to thank our Las Vegas fire personal and the LVMPD as well. They seriously appreciate the kind words. Great post! 😎

  5. 1) I’m from Ohio too! 2) I thank you for being brave enough to go and thank the military man. 3) I’m sorry I missed your eating disorder post; I’ve been there too. I’m thankful you are on the other side. Blessings to you!

  6. Another great post. While I am very much anti-war; my problem lies less with the soilders and more with those who send them in harm’s way I have respect for those who sacrifice for their country because are doing what THEY feel is right. It is nice you thanked the soldier

    1. Thank you friend. Yeah it definitely is a sacrifice, that’s for sure! Hugs and love xox

    1. There really is a lot of truth to that. Thanks for stopping by Ian. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you for your kind words and prayers. That means a lot 🙂 and I know they appreciate it too! Hugs and love xox

  7. It is a lot less violent and a lot more peaceful just across the lake in Canada. We have peace, order and good government with far less guns. You’d be welcome here.

  8. From a Dad and a Father-In-Law of those who wear that uniform, thank you for acknowledging the sacrifice of all of them. In 2005 both of them were in Iraq…you did a beautiful thing!

    1. Thank you Randy, for your service!! What a gift you’ve given our country. Real life hero!! Hugs and love xox

  9. Thank you for a great tribute to great people. They do sacrifice much. And I know about the security thing living here in D.C.

    As for you, you are a hero to many. You may not feel like you are, but you are a hero.

    1. Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words. Gosh I am truly humbled. Hope you’re ready for the “bomb cyclone this weekend!” Stay dry!!! Hugs and love xox

    1. that is so true, Jeff. I have definitely been guilty of that too many times than id like to admit. thanks, i can’t wait to read more! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you Margaret. thank you for the sacrifices both you and your family and husband have made for us. big hugs to you xox

  10. Love that you took the time to thank the soilder! There are so many hero’s out there protecting us, and mainly they go unappreciated and unnoticed. I really enjoy your blog. Bless you!

  11. Wow! In awe of the good spirit residing in you and the Holy Spirit for empowering you, your words, your actions to be an inspiration to many.

    Bless your heart, Friend!
    😘

    1. thank you, friend. gosh, i am humbled by such kind words! God is good!! Hugs and love xox

  12. Yes, our law enforcement and soldiers need to know that what they do truly does matter!!! Especially in such scary times as these. I can’t imagine the amount of courage it takes to “protect and serve” everyday. <3

    1. it really does matter! they are real life heroes! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  13. A wonderful post full of gratitude and the importance of it. So often we tend to forget our freedoms and take advantage of privileges. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. thank you so much! yeah — we have so much to be grateful for. big hugs to you xox

  14. Beauty, I love how your always so positive and interesting. You’re a good writer as well so I would like to supply kudos to your style. You have excellent blogging Kung Fu and I’m jealous. Lol.

    1. oh gosh, what a kind thing to say. thank you Jared! haha blogging Kung Fu – that made me laugh out loud!!! hahah Hugs and love xox

  15. Its good that you went and appreciated what the police do. In India we don’t, because we believe that they are worse than the crooks

    1. Thank you Rajiv. Oh gosh, I’m sorry to hear that. Yeah I guess that is something we’re fortunate to have here in America. Sending big hugs xox

  16. As the mother of a London police officer I heartily agree. Most folks have no idea the dangers they face and in the UK’s case unarmed (apart from a special division the UK police have chosen not to carry guns). Here or there, they are all heros!

    1. Thank you Claire. What a powerful gift your son and your family have given your country. Yes – all heroes. Hugs and love xox

  17. I make a point to stop members of the military when I see them in uniform and thank them for their service. My grandfathers were Army and Navy, my dad was Coast Guard, and my cousin Ryan is currently serving in the Coast Guard. I should do the same for police officers. A brilliant post!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    1. That’s so awesome Laura Beth. Gosh – what brave men!! I am very grateful for their service to keep us safe! Big hugs and have a fabulous weekend! Hugs and love xox

  18. I’ve been following you for a while, and maybe I’m completely zoning out but I didn’t realize you’re in Manhattan!! If you ever want to grab coffee with a follower let me know, always love meeting new people who live here!! And love your points about the security, I actually grew up in lower Manhattan in the pre and post 9/11 era, and the amount of change and protection the city provides (which, a lot of people don’t notice) is amazing, I’m sure your comment to that young guy made his week!

    1. Hi Sarah! Oh awesome! Thanks girl. Yeah the security is truly amazing. And you’re absolutely right! People don’t realize how safe it really is! They do a great job. Yay for NYC!!! Thanks for stopping by! Big hugs to you xox

  19. When I see our military in uniform, I too get emotional. I want to go up and hug them all but mostly because to my fifty year old eyes they all look like babies. ‘Go to bed and get some rest. I’ll come in with cocoa later.’. Seriously though, they ARE someone’s kids and they chose to spend their careers protecting the country they love, and the people who make up that country. Thank YOU! p.s., I also want to pet all the military and police dogs but I’d probably get arrested or my face bitten off. ALL the service men, women and critters (military, police search& rescue) have my utmost respect and appreciation.

    1. Yes – a big hug of gratitude. I’m with you there. Aww – that cocoa line was sweet 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you friend. Yeah they definitely deserve our thanks!! Hugs and love xox

  20. I agree totally with you, but I think that the invisibility goes much farther. I drive through the farm fields in Oxnard on the way to work every day, I eat frequently at fast food restaurants, I ride the train. All these people give their lives to us, not in a blaze of glory, but through a slow, deadening leeching away of the spirit. Some of them end up as the homeless, wandering the streets filthy and cold.

    Going deeper into the food chain, we have the plants that give us food, the animals that create the amino acids we need to survive, the phytobacteria that give us oxygen.

    I’ve been thinking about this out here in Parkland, for obvious reasons, and as humanity is supposed to bring love to all of reality, we should recognize that not all parts of reality respond to videos and digital bank balances. Many parts of reality need to be loved by people that see the world in really simple terms, people that aren’t constantly hungering for novelty, but that are simply capable of bearing witness to the beauty of a sunrise or a spring field or a coral reef.

    Everyone can serve a sacred purpose.

    And of course this all applies to our military as well. If you’ve seen “Risen”, at the end Jesus asks the centurion “What do you wish for?” When no answer comes, Jesus makes a couple of suggestions and then springs “A day without death?” The poor centurion looks like he is afraid to imagine it.

    1. Thank you for this reflection Brian. That’s a great point – there are a lot of unseen heroes in our lives. Yes – everyone can serve a sacred purpose. Amen. Hugs and love xox

  21. I so very much agree with the Carolyn in the fact that, those in our military and law enforcement are the invisible heroes that continue to gloss over because of all the rampant talks of gun control and politics.

    We really should take the time and remember that there are those out there fighting for our freedom in the first place.

    1. Thanks friend, that’s so true – they’re putting their lives on the line for us! Hugs and love xox

  22. Thank you for writing this post! This is something I think about every day. The significance of these people that sacrifice so much for us every day seems to always be put on the back burner to politics or some other baseless focal point. It seems forgotten or unnoticed in a sense to this generation. But I know there is always more appreciative people than not. Thank you for leading the way! I know posts like this will inspire many others to follow your lead.❤️ I love your blog, by the way. You write beautifully!😊 XOXO

    1. Thank you so much Brooke! I’m so glad this resonated with you. you’re so right – they sacrifice so much to protect our safety and freedom! Hugs and love xox

  23. I teared up just READING your interaction with the soldier. I can only imagine how it was for you in person. <3

    1. awww, thank you Gina. Yeah – it was a really special moment. glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  24. You have no idea how much you mean to a lot of us Caralyn especially me, you have been there through very difficult times, can you believe we started talking nearly 3 years ago!! Not after you started BBB. If I had a bucket list, meeting you would be at the top of it, I believe it will happen, soon rather than later, but I know it will ❤️ p.s. we both know you just needed an excuse to go up to that man in uniform 😜😜😜

    1. Gosh thank you for saying that Benny. How incredibly kind. I know! How time flies. I believe it will happen too!! Hahaha yes! Hugs and love xox

  25. Great post as usual. Well said. And, as usual, you make me want to cry the way your writing touches my soul, oh you beautiful soul you. Ahem…now an unrelated question for you: For us mutant anamolies who don’t use Apple products, is there another way to purchase/download your My Blogging Tips book? Thanks and keep shining your light. 👊🖖

    1. Aw thanks Jedi. You are too generous with your kind words. Yes! It is also available for download to any PC or android device through Blurb!! 👍🏼 Hugs and love xox

      1. Thanks, Caralyn. Yeah I know I always put extra sauce on it lol (I’m a preacher AND a poet so I can’t help it sometimes)…but I mean every single word 😎. XOX right back atcha, sweet lady.

      2. Sooooo…I only see Bloom (which I still plan on purchasing next week). But I can’t find My Blogging Tips 🤔. HELP!

      3. Ah! Never mind…I was able to find it on your main menu. Purchased and about to read it now. Time time to get my blog game up…bout ta be on fleek! “Nothing can stop me, I’m all the way up”! 😂 Happy Birthday to me!

      4. Ah – gotcha – just seeing this. AWESOME! Thank you so much!! Hahaha I love that song. Yes Happy Birthday Jedi!!! Hope you have an awesome day! Hugs and love xox

      5. You have to use the link at the end of the post. I wish they included e-books on your profile page but unfortunately they don’t. I’ll go grab the link and send it to you 🙂

  26. The essence of life…being grateful. Not all heroes will get medals, but atleast a thank you will be just as encouraging. Thank you once more for your insights!!!

    1. So true! Gratitude is so important. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  27. Good to express your gratitude directly… yes, probably a surprise to someone whom most would want to filter out. What I believe we have forgetten about the Second Amendment is that its purpose is to support a “well regulated militia”, which is our military, federal agencies, state and local police forces. Glad you got home safely. More posts on this topic coming – Oscar

    1. Thanks Oscar. Great points. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Gorman! So glad it hit home with you 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  28. It is always good the hear that someone understand the price people pay for other people’s freedoms. Appreciation is an awesome word.

  29. Well said!! And oh gosh, thanks for that tidbit about the NK cheerleaders… I hadn’t heard, but the more I know about the reality over there, the better. O.O

  30. Sweet Caralyn – you often capture my heart with your tender-written posts, but his one truly melted it for I’m a mother of a military son. And it means so much to mother’s like me to hear when complete strangers recognize and acknowledge that a great sacrifice is being made – all for love of duty, honor, and country. It’s a true parallel to the BVM, who I am sure beams with humble-pride too, when we acknowledge the great sacrifice of her dearly beloved Son. Hugs & Blessings to you for your kindness to this soldier and the respect you paid to not only him, but to his family as well. (A small glimpse through the eyes of a military mom attached…) https://hugsnblessings.com/2016/11/16/worse-than-the-first-day-of-kindergarten/

    1. oh gosh, Dawn Marie, thank you for this touching response. And thank you for the sacrifices your son – and truly your whole family – make each and every day for our country. You are heroes in my eyes. I look forward to reading your post – thanks for sharing 🙂 Hugs and love xox

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