This morning my family is slowly getting out of bed and going about our tasks in our normal Juliano way. Living so far outside of town in the middle of nowhere, we sorta keep to ourselves. Okay, there is this blog where I am opening up about my own personal Bullshit but for the most part I tend to keep to myself. My dog KIA and I often watch the sun rise and the squirrels chase the birds.
Through the CRAZY early years of my military career I realized I have a hard time having friends because just like in my developmental years, they would always disappear from my life before I even knew what was happening. Some would be reassigned to a different mission a month after going through something incredibly dangerous and exhilarating together. A month after realizing you were really cool with each other. Others simply lost or took their own life.
We all chase a similar dream with with different goals in mind.
What can I say, when you are having a good time enjoying a fun job and you’re at war you have got shit to do. It’s time to go do HUA shit! God I loved being assigned to Army units. They were more fun than us Air Force folk when it came to blowing shit up. It pumped up your feeling of belonging to a really cool team, ya know?
Right now my town of Waterloo, Illinois is dealing with something I have experienced in many of my military units. And it hurts. They are experiencing loss. Through my years my military unit I was assigned to would mourn the loss of our members when they were taken from us. I did not know this young man that my town has lost and that really bums me out because I didn’t get to know an incredible person that is loved by his community. I’ve been in this situation so many times I can see the changes in the people around me. I know it is my responsibility as a human being to listen to others and understand how THEY are feeling right now. I know this community behavior will be driven by community needs and synchronous to group-drive. It is during these times we cease to be individuals. Our humanistic needs shift to communal.
Not long ago, the community was celebrating Homecoming. The town was alive and full of cheer and everyone was excited to see one another. There were young couples showing off their newborn, there were senior citizens enjoying time with their families and listening to music realizing happiness is what they should be pursuing. There were children playing on the courthouse lawn.
But now we pause to reflect and realize not everything goes the way we planned and we do not have a single day to waste. I see fathers embracing their young children, intent on protecting them from the horror of the world outside their purview. I see couples comfort each other and realize if even for a day that every moment with another is precious.
I realize every moment Dominick Juliano spends with another human being is valuable. NO MATTER WHO that other person is. I realize I am no longer in the military.
I believe organizations and communities behave just like individual people and deserve collective empathy. Communities have traditions and norms. They pull together during times they need each other. And although I didn’t know this young man personally, I cannot help but feel a sense of joining in that sense of community strength. My family is getting ready to join in our small town seeing off one of our own. A member of our team.
Most who are reading this blog probably don’t know Illinois State Trooper Nick Hopkins. And that is okay. Here is our opportunity to spend a moment together and remember someone who gave their life for you and I. If we truly appreciate his sacrifice then we will take a moment to think about him and his family. I urge you to do just that. CLICK ON THIS PARAGRAPH.
It’s time for my family to go join my community.
You’re Welcome. Internet.