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  • Jered Stewart

Getting Through, Day by Day

What can you say at a time like this? It certainly has been unprecedented by all accounts. We’ve been through tough times before but never taken hostage by something invisible. The fear of the unknown is often the greatest fear. How long will this last? What’s going to happen next? Rumors, misinformation, fear, anxiety…these are some difficult times.

When I was a younger man, I enlisted in the Air National Guard. I was shipped off to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for Basic Military Training. I will never forget showing up on base and being thrust into a dorm with 50 other young guys from all over the country who didn’t know what they were getting into. I’m sure some of our residents may remember shipping off to basic training. To me the memories are vivid and sometimes it feels like it was just last week.

Over those seven weeks we spent together there were a lot of shared experiences: sleeping in your sweaty uniform in a tent in the summer heat, crawling through sand, getting up at 3:00 AM for KP duty and literally accomplishing more by 9:00 AM than most do all day. I remember sitting outside one night watching the sunset with a few buddies shaking our heads about how crazy it was. It was quite an experience.

Over those few weeks we became like brothers. Guys you never knew suddenly became like family, because we quickly realized that we needed each other to survive. We learned that the best way forward was together, as a team. And I’m convinced that when times get tough it’s important to come together, because those bonds you create during times of shared suffering will last a lifetime.

That is my hope for all of us now. In the midst of great disunity in our country we were hit with a crisis. Perhaps the silver lining in this crisis will be the creation of a bond among us that will help create unity. As I write this, I realize that no one knows what comes next. But shouldn’t that remind us that even in good times we don’t know what comes next? My mantra lately has been “day by day”. In the midst of this crisis may we come together in unity, may we support and love one another, may we remain calm and focus upon others, and may we realize that through this we can become stronger. My hopes and prayers are with you all.

“What such a man needs is not courage but nerve control, cool headedness. This he can only get by practice.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

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