I've been thinking again about not giving up. There's no thoughts of giving up in me right now. That's not where this is coming from.
This comes from people I know who did not give up. One was an Air Force colonel I knew while stationed at Clark AP in the PI. A typhoon was wreaking its way across the island. I was on duty, holding onto the keys with the nuclear authenticators as the Emergency Actions Controller in the Command Post, a young E4. Working with me, wearing the officer's nuclear keys, was a major. It takes two keys to access the authenticators, cookies, as we called them.
On duty with us that night was a colonel. Don't know his name. He was on duty to help us with on the scene life and death directions and decisions, should they be necessary. While the major and I were on twelve hour shifts, the colonel was working a three hour shift. Like most of the colonels working that duty, he came in, we briefed him on the situation ("It's windy out" -- "Raining, too") and he took up position with a newspaper in the battle staff area. We ran comm checks with all the base agencies every hour, checking on different damages and situations. He came down during one of these. It was around three in the morning. While there was some damages and injuries being sustained, most of the base was coping.
The major needed a latrine break so the colonel sat in for him - two people were always required on console, no exceptions. The colonel and I chatted. He recognized me from some running I was doing. I knew of him from his running, too. Now I learned the rest of his story.
Years before, he was flying an F4 out of a base in England. The F4 is a two engine centerline jet fighter. Just after take-off, they put wheels in well and then experienced a dual engine flame out. They were not high. There was little that could be done. He blew the canopy. He and his backseater ejected. They weren't high enough for ejector seats. They knew that. What else could they do? As expected, the seats' parachutes failed to deploy. His backseater was killed on impact. The colonel suffered broken back, legs, ankles, crushed pelvis, broken hips. Doctors told him he would never walk again.
He remembered that every day as he went running. He was never expected to walk ago. The moral, of course, remains, don't give up. No matter what they tell you, don't give up.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com