"City Dispatch, Medic 183 responding to scene." I switched on the lights and siren as I pulled the ambulance out of its station. Snow and ice covered the roads and the temperature had dropped to -50F. There were a few people out, but most had decided it best to stay indoors during the cold snap. And here our team was, heading out into the frigid conditions and leaving our beckoning wood stoves while responding to a young woman who was having dizzy spells, an Alpha (least emergent) call. No one was bleeding, no one was dying, no one was fatally sick. It wasn't one of those parade days where you feel spectacular about your job.
As I reached a corner in the road, I slowed down to make the turn. Inside the beater pickup just ahead on the road I was turning into, sat an older man with a Vietnam Vet bumper sticker. He had a long beard and unkempt look, and his distant eyes told of struggle and hardship. As I turned the corner in front of him our eyes met for a brief second and he gave a quick salute. I quickly returned it. Suddenly, I felt recognized. I was serving, not for glory, but because it's an honor.
We have a Battle Hero who has fought before us. His life was spent in ridicule and disdain, and yet He served. Not in the parade glitz, but in the mundane. He asks no less from us.
As He salutes us on...