Fatal Marine Helicopter Crash Reminds Us War Isn’t the Only Danger for Our Troops

Marine HelicopterI'm not usually the praying type, but whenever I hear that a friend's military husband is getting called for duty overseas, my heart goes out to them. I cross my fingers and hope that he'll be OK. But the tragic Marine helicopter crash in the air near Yuma, Arizona this week has me wondering why we always wait for news that one of our soldiers is going out of the country to really throw them our support.

The seven Marines who lost their lives didn't have to leave the country to put themselves in harm's way for their country. The men were on a training exercise right here in the good old US of A.


It's a sad reminder that war isn't the only risk that our troops face. When they're training -- even on American soil -- they're doing things that are out of the ordinary for most citizens. Think about it: when was the last time you were even in a helicopter? I certainly have never been in either an AH-1 W Cobra helicopter or a UH-1 Huey, and especially not in an aircraft loaded with explosives, which made this crash in Yuma so much more deadly.

But that's the kind of thing that service members could be doing on any given day, anywhere in the world, even at home. Like the Marines who died as they were readying for deployment in Afghanistan, every day there are plenty of people who are preparing for combat conditions. They may be able to see their families more often than someone who is overseas (or not -- being "here" doesn't necessarily mean at home), but that doesn't lessen the impact of their service by any means. 

As we mourn these seven Marines and pay tribute to their service, we should all take the time to remember every single other member of our armed forces, wherever they are, and honor what they are doing every day.

How are you honoring those who lost their lives in Arizona this week?


Image via DVIDSHUB/Flickr

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