Always been one, always will be.
It comes from being the oldest child in a broken home, and having to grow up too quickly.
The disheartening part being that:
In this day and age it so difficult to be the change you want to see in the world, because there will always be forces working against our efforts.
I am a soldier, a volunteer, a humanitarian, a father, a friend, and a brother..... All of those, for anyone who needs one.
I've given the shirt off my back, literally, on a handful of occasions, because no matter what life/God/the grand scheme, throws your way, there is always someone of greater suffering, and greater reward.
If I don't need it, I don't buy it.
If I don't want it anymore, I find someone who could use it, or do my best to see that it goes there.
I like to believe I am a kind-hearted and generous person, but it was borne of repentance, guilt, rather than the good samaritan in me.
No matter how I got here, I am here.
I've seen some of the purest evils in the world, the blindest naivety, and the most angelic good in the world.
I've seen the effects of wars on the Innocents caught between opposing forces, and sacrificed for the "cause".
The children, who's battle scars rival those of the worst-off troops.
Children, who have never touched a rifle, never meant real harm against anyone or anything..... Tattered limps, and broken spirits. Forever imprinted with the markings of a war that wasn't theirs to witness, or fight.
I've seen the horrors of lives that have been led by children who were unwanted, unloved. For the simple "mistake" of being a survivor, even if they leave the world before their time, they've been freed of the insufferable burden of having ignorance as their origins, or violence....
I've met those who sacrifice their home, life, safety, and a certain future for the opportunity to rectify to wrongs the world has affected on the downtrodden.
Those who brave the firefights/violence the diseases, the uncertainty, just to ease the suffering of others, and to repent for the sins of others, who would just as easily turn the other cheek.
I am nowhere near the holiness of those persons. I do my best, within my realm, to ease the suffering and hardship of others, but not as far as I would have liked.
I have a service to fulfill in this world, part of it being to bring my people home, alive, and with as few physical, emotional, and mental scars as possible.
We have been fortunate in our limits of exposure this time. I am not walking the villages, searching the houses, and expending hundreds of rounds in firefights longer than the sun's reach.
I have seen just one boy, no older than 25; a man by experience, a boy by chronological standards, legs gone, body crushed, but spirit and soul as strong as ever, fighting against all the odds. And I pray each day that his name not be chiseled into a marbel block before mine.
My soldiers over the years. We have cried together, heads bowed low in prayers for ourselves, our comrades, our growing number of guardian angels, and the families of us all. We have shed our blood, our sweat, our tears, our brass, together.
We hold each other up when it feels like the world will crash down around us, because we have given each other our all, and we owe each other that for the rest of our lives.
We know suffering, and we do our best to help others relieve the burden, and rise up against the odds, because we hold them steady on their feet.
Our lows are the lowest, so we know they can soar, as we have, with just a little help.
A covered grocery bill, so the rent can be met.
A play date with the kids, so they can take that extra shift.
A sleepover, so they can greet their kids anew, with a healthier light in their eyes, and a little less stress in their mind.
A quick package, so they have something for their child, they can't afford to buy, so they and their child can share a smile.
Help folding laundry, so maybe dinner won't be so late tonight.
Take their watch-shift, so they can get a few more minutes of sleep before rejoining the fight.
These are to tiny little things, yet so few consider the consequences.
The extra time to catch up with their child, spouse, self, or sleep.
That sigh of relief that they have managed to survive another day in a world of complete uncertainty.
That moment they needed, to realize:
Someone cares, you are not alone.
And things will get better.
I've learned most all of it through experience. And I hope that no one else will have to suffer through all those lessons, even if I know it's wishful thinking.