The average age of the military man is 19 years. 

The average age of the military man is 19 years. 
 
 He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who,   under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy.   Not yet dry behind the ears,
not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to  die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather  wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected  unemployment either. 
 
 
  
  He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student,  pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has  a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to  be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and  roll or hip-hop  or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer. 
 
 
  He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is  working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a  rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade  launcher and use either one effectively if he must. 
 
 
 He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a  professional. 
 
 
 He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to  march.  
 
 
 
  He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. 


 
 He is self-sufficient. 
 
 
  He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his  canteens full and his feet dry. 
 
 
  He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can  cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. 
 
 
  If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his  food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. 
 
 
  He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his  hands. 
 
 
 He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. 
 
 
  He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still  find ironic humor in it all. 
 
 
 He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short  lifetime.  
 
 
 
  He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat  and is unashamed. 
 
 
  He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at   rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those  around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop  talking. 
 
 
 In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from  home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. 
 
 
 Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the  price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. 
 
 He is the American Fighting Man that has  kept this country free for over 200 years.  
 
 
He has asked nothing in return, except  our friendship and understanding. 
 
 Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his  blood. 
 
 
  And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this  tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. 
 
 
 As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . .  A short lull, a little shade and a picture of  loved ones in their helmets. 
 
 
 
  
 Prayer Wheel 
 
 
 'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. 
 
 Protect them as they protect us. 
 
  Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in 
 our time of need. Amen.' 
 
 
 
  When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our  ground troops in Afghanistan   , sailors on ships, and airmen in the air,

   and for those in Iraq , Afghanistan and all foreign  countries. 
 
 
 
 Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier,  Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine,  or Airman, prayer is the very best one.