Guilt is something that comes very easily to me. It is second-nature to feel guilty over something even as simple as a perceived social slight I have perpetrated. (I seem especially suceptible to embarassment over lack of social grace) Sometimes this motivates me, other times, not so much.
I had written, or more clearly, begun writing a story about a gentleman with a dog-sled team, while on my usual patrol, when I became aware of a general discomfort within myself. I did not vote this past election. In fact, I have never voted in any election of consequence. This has never bothered me before.
Earlier today, while making coffee, I read the article concerning the recently-deceased trooper Michael Yuki Hayakaze. His story is a tragic one, as all deaths are, but it struck a particular cord within me when it was reported he said (of his tour in Afghanistan)"If I die- obviously I don't want to- I'm OK with it. I'm at peace with everything." This man believed in what he was doing. He believed that Canada was making a difference by being overseas. Believed so strongly in his country that he was willing to give his life for it. In my quest to join the military, I had believed I was willing to do the same; had thought I, too, loved my country. But I'm not even willing to go fill out a piece of paper to help lead the country.
I cannot close my eyes, now, without seeing trooper Hayakaze. He fought for me, for my freedom. I will never be allowed to fight beside people like him, owing to past stupidities, but perhaps I can find a life that is worthy of this man's, and other's, sacrifice; their tremendous gift to me.
I would like, now, to say "Thank you" to Hayakaze, and to all the men and women who fight, in whatever way they can, to promote this country.
It seems rarely said, shadowed by America's massive ego, but it needs, sometimes, to be said,
God Bless Canada.