When something bad happens we all stop our moment and react.   Like when the earthquake was felt this week.  My wife and her girlfriends got scared and confused. Natural.  But when I talked with my buddies their immediate reaction was as mine…  “What do I do right now?” “Who needs to be protected and how?”  That is OK, that is the way life has been created.  Nurture or protect, our primal roles.

Some things are meant to be natural, left alone…..as they are part of nature, our nature.  We are born.  We die.  This is natural.  This is accepted.  We can leave it alone or we can try to alter.  Man can dignify it or man can desecrate it.  Good or evil.  Selflessness or selfishness.

Peoples’ lives can pay tribute to life or they can cheapify it…  (New word, cheapify, or cheapen…  I like cheapify..)   Hitler made life cheap.  Our soldiers ennobled it.  Love makes life beautiful.  Addictions make life ugly.

When something bad happens something has to be done about it.  “Done” does not mean debate!  “Done” does not mean politicize.   Nike says “Just do it”.  So do I.  Attack bad, don’t dither it.  Inaction is the very worst form of action.

We have a military because history has taught some of us that bad things have and do happen.  Diplomacy works often but not always.  There are people who lie no matter how much we give and try to understand.  We may even have to act without anyone else’s permission.  While all the public posturing is going on, there is not a day when someone in the military is somewhere operating covertly, much less an innocent drone hovering for the next “perfect” kill.  Our Special Operations and Intelligence communities have their lives on the line daily to allow us the delicacy of thinking peace is at hand, that we are safe.  If something goes bad….our good guys are sent to situations you would cringe at, or withdraw into psychosis.

DDG 112 USS Michael Murphy was commissioned and launched in NYC last week.  I was honored to be at the christening in Maine the year prior.  I knew Mike at the start of his journey.  Many of you may have read the book “Lone Survivor”.  Mike was a SEAL officer who was sent really deep into the bad.  On a lonely mountain in Afghanistan he and two of his men were killed by the Taliban.  One miraculously escaped and lives to tell the story.  Mike took his final bullets standing with his radio so he could get clear transmission.

What one does for others is the measure of one’s life.  You can take bullets on a hill or you can take criticism in your home.  It does not matter as long as you are standing up for good.  Calling a spade a spade…calling bad for what it is, period.

We have become passive in our beliefs.  We have become afraid to say out loud what we really feel, what our heart tells us.  We don’t listen to our heart because it may be politically incorrect.  Proactive or passive about life?  About values?  About evil?

At the end of the commissioning ceremony on the Hudson River a yell by the 1000 people there of “HOOYAH MIKE” resonated in the piers and hearts nearby.  When I was told this, my stomach turned and my heart became so heavy…and tears…  because the word “Hooyah” is so unique to a very special community in Naval Special Warfare to which I once belonged.

Godspeed & Hooyah Mike


Chris Bent




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