Being away on business always has a way of putting things in perspective for me. I’m away from my family and friends, my home, my pets, my comforts – being away on these week long trips heightens my appreciation for these things and more.

I was in Atlanta, Georgia the past two days and, nothing against the fine Georgians, but nothing about the city of Atlanta really impressed me. Tonight I flew from Atlanta to San Antonio, Texas. It’s 11pm (local time, but my body thinks it’s midnight) and I’ve just checked into my hotel room. It’s raining and cold. As tired as I am, I can’t stop thinking about my flight.

We had a mostly full flight and roughly 50 of the passengers were males between the ages of 18-22. All their heads were shaved and they were all wearing similar outfits. No, not some weird religious cult. It was an Army platoon in their fatigues. They had just finished their 9-week boot camp training at Fort Benning, Georgia and were all en-route to Fort Sam Houston, here in San Antonio, Texas to continue their training as combat medics (and hopefully future doctors).

As I sat among them, and spoke with them, and eavesdropped on their conversations, and studied their faces I was overcome with a crystal clear sense of perspective.

Here are these kids – and they were just kids – who have just completed one of the most difficult challenges of their life, are about to begin more rigorous battlefield training, and hadn’t a clue as to where on the globe they might be in two months.

And I’m peeved that our flight is a little delayed, and wondering if there will be free wifi at my hotel or not (there’s wifi, but it’s not free).

I’ve always had great respect for our military – with a special affect toward the Army since my Dad served in the Army – but rarely have I had the chance to be among so many wide-eyed, brave young men and women.

You don’t have to like the war – or our President – to respect these kids. They serve our country, voluntarily, in a time of war. That’s how I define heroism. God bless these kids.