Oh how inspired I was by the song “Ballad of the Green Berets” to become a soldier and fight for America! I marched around our home singing this song at the top of my lungs and terrorizing my family with my off pitch screechings. I so wanted to enlist, train and then be sent off on secret missions–problem was I was seven years old and a girl…no matter, this didn’t keep me from watching “The Green Berets” and “The Dirty Dozen” over and over again until my eyes bled (I was so in love with Samson Posey!) I knew all the lyrics by heart and still do to this day.
Imagine my horror and disappointment when one of my Dad’s friends came to visit one evening and left my older brother, Mike, with a real Green Beret! Mike hung it on his bedpost, I think just to taunt me? Sneaking into his room at night I’d put that beret on my head and sing the song quietly in the darkness my parents closet as the goosebumps rose and fell with each word. I had no real idea of war, only knowing that I was inspired by those lyrics to protect our country.
Fast forward to 1988 when a group of Green Berets came into our studio to receive tattoos of their design to commemorate the disbanding of their unit. Of course I was very excited to work with them on their design choices and related the story of my childhood. We talked of the Snake Eaters and all things related to the Green Berets that they could speak of without compromising any past missions. A few weeks later, the group dropped in with a special plaque they’d made for me, along with a few patches and then crowned me with a Green Beret of my own! I nearly peed myself as the tears streamed down my face as we all sang the ballad together. I will never forget those guys and the sense of honor I felt that day.
Today as I reflect upon my Soldier’s Heart that beats inside my chest, I think of all the men and women in the branches in our Military that have served, fought and died to protect our freedoms and after listening to the ballad several times this morning, tears again stream down my face in loving memory. As everyone enjoys celebrations and picnics which traditionally mark the “official beginning of summer” let us look into the bluest of skies and keep our fallen soldiers in mind, with heartfelt prayers.