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The Super Three…What about me?

February 4, 2013


Hey Y’all.

I am sad tonight. I am thrilled tonight. I am not confused, I am being honest. Like most everyone, I am conflicted about the death of Chris Kyle, the retired Navy S.E.A.L. who was murdered yesterday by a fellow veteran of Iraq. Chief Petty Officer Kyle is an American hero, no doubt about it. Not for what he did on the battlefield, but what he accomplished in his life.

To be honest, I have never met CPO Kyle. I flipped through his book while wasting some time in an airport. To me he is a hero for two reasons. The first is that he retired from the life that defined who he was as a person in order to save his marriage and be a father to his children. Following his service to the Navy, his newest mission was to serve his country by being a great husband and father. Secondly, he gave his time and energy to help his fellow service members’ work through some tough times. He lived the phrase, “No one gets left behind.” Not his family and not his friends and not those who wear the nation’s uniform. You can read more about CPO Kyle from Eric Davis, CPO Kyle’s instructor and friend.


Last week, there were reports of an F-16 that was lost on a training mission. The F-16 was based at Aviano, AB Italy. The search was conducted for three days before the body of Major Luc Gruenther was recovered. He leaves behind a wife and their unborn child. I found this on the blog “The Flying T Ranch.” I do not know the name of the author but there is no doubt that these men were friends. You should check out his thoughts about his friend here:

finger victory

Finally, I am thrilled because my friend, Jack Miller is cancer free. He gives a compelling look of what it was like for him to be told that the cancer was his death sentence, just three months ago. I read his words, before I read the news about CPO Kyle and Major Gruenther maybe that is why I am so conflicted tonight. Pastor Jack asked a very valid question. Why did he get to live when so many others don’t? I don’t know, and I don’t think he does either. You can read his post here:

Today I said two prayers of sorrow and assistance. I said one prayer of thanks. I have spent a few minutes today thinking about this very question. To me, I don’t think the why matters. I think that is a question that has no answer on this side of life and on the other side that answer holds the same significance as 2+2=4.

To me what matters is how you live your life. CPO Kyle, Major Gruenther and Pastor Jack all have the same perspective about life. Live for today because we are not promised tomorrow. CPO Kyle was shot twice and survived six separate IED attacks. I have been shot at but never actually hit. I dare say, that I would be a quitter the first time I was blown up. Major Gruenther was a fighter pilot and lived his life dancing on the edge of a knife. No regrets and no compromise. Pastor Jack is a worker for the Lord and currently serves the nation as a Chaplin in the Air Force.

Pastor Jack attacked his death sentence with a fight and determination that would make a Navy S.E.A.L. and an Air Force Fighter Pilot proud. These men lived their lives in attack mode. They lived looking forward. They loved their people and made their world a better place. The question is how you and I are going to attack our lives? Are we going to passively sit back and watch the days flow by before it is our time to pass on? Are we going to attack the day, live the life and die with no regrets?


From → life

  1. Rob– life is such a mixed stew of good and bad, celebration and mourning. I don’t get it. I just don’t. There’s a country song by Clay Walker that always sums it up for me. This is the chorus but the verses ask the same tough questions you do:

    But I wasn’t there the day you filled up the oceans
    I didn’t get to see you hang the stars in the sky
    So, I don’t mean to second guess you
    Or criticize what I don’t understand
    And these are just a few questions I have


  2. I think that we as humans think that we deserve an answer. We deserve to know why. We ask questions that are irrelevant like “What did the President know and when did he know it?” Really, who cares? How does that information make my life better?

    It doesn’t. All it does is create more questions. We may be better off living our lives without being distracted by the questions.

    Looks like this is one more lesson, I will have to try to teach myself and my kids.

    • Rob, this is out of topic, but I couldn’t find your email address. I am nominating you, in Friday’s post, for the Versatile Blogger Award. I love how you write from your heart about all kinds of topics and do so with honesty and humor. Thank you for sharing your blog with all of us. J

  3. I’m proud to have a friend like you, Rob. Someone who actually cares about the important things in life and recognizes the frivolities that so many waste time making into a big deal.

    I read all of your entries in my email, but don’t always have a comment. I don’t know one Metallica song from another, and I don’t follow a lot of the same interests that you do, but I’m always in your corner. You have a wonderful voice with things that need to be said.

    Peace to ya, brother. And I’m so glad about Jack.

    • This is a two way street and I truly admire you and your world views. I love how you spew positive thoughts even when you deal with a life that at times can be less than ideal. I am proud to know that men like you are in existence in this country.

      Like you, I visit your site very regularly and although I don’t make comments all the time, I am there. I really appreciate your thoughts yesterday. A soup-er bowl is a great idea. That is a wonderful way to reach your community and to serve those who are less fortunate.

      I have spent lots of time thinking about the issue of homeless folks and how they can be reached. In fact this is a subject that I hope to address in my book. Thanks to your inspiration, I am going to post a chapter that is focused on this. Since Big Joe is begging for sample selections, I am going to ask him if he will host the chapter. If not I will put it up here. No worries.

      Also, I know I have not publically recognized the fact that you nominated me for an award. Big Joe gave me one too. I have not found a good time to announce them, but I will. Thanks for everything!

  4. Karlene permalink

    I say live life with no regrets. Actually… there will always be regrets if we’re living life. Nobody is perfect and mistakes will be made. But I will not live the regret of not living my life. Perhaps we do this on behalf of those who never had the chance. I often wonder why someone dies of something so crazy, after living through such battles. Perhaps we are truly put on this earth for a mission, and when it’s done, our time is done. For the others… we still have work to do. All we can do is live strong. And know there is a plan. We can choose to play, or not. I choose to be part of this game called life!

    • Karlene,

      I love your attitude and your ability to attack life. You are an amazing person. You have so many things going on and you are constantly adding more to your list of accomplishments. I am sure that you are most proud of your faith, family and friends. I appreciate your encouragement, attitude and example of how to live this life.

      Morbid joke time: I tell people who are afraid to fly that when it is their time to go, they go. When it is the pilot’s time, it is their time too. The trick is making sure it isnt the pilot’s time.

      • Karlene permalink

        Thank you so much Rob.
        Now the funny thing is… I have that same joke. But I say, “as long as it’s not the guy in 5B’s time to go.” Sad thing is, I said that to my captain the night we watched the TWA 747 blow up on the way to Paris. That was a very sad night.

      • I hate it anytime an airplane crashes or a pilot losses their life. Having spent lots of time flying, taking off and landing. I can see how a crash could happen. And having watched some very good, competent pilots (including myself) do some really stupid things I know how it goes. I guess that is why I hate it so much because 99.9% of the time, the crash is avoidable.

        The TWA crash still perplexes me. All of my flying career, I have heard and been told that airplanes just don’t blow up. I have also been told to never reset a fuel boost pump circuit breaker. When you find a fuel boost pump CB popped, you do the right thing and call the mechanic. The first thing he does is to walk onto the airplane and reset it. (Yes that has happened twice on different airplanes).

        I don’t know why the TWA 747 blew up but I just can’t get my head around the official NTSB reason. Please feel free to educate me.

  5. Rob,
    I never thought of myself as ‘super’ but I do serve a super God. Thank you for the words; they’re always timely and on target.
    With my death sentence, I determined early on that I was going to fight until the last breath to stay alive. I had already decided I would do whatever I needed to do to spend one more day on earth for my children.
    I was never worried about being dead; it was the ‘dying’ part that I didn’t like because I knew how that was going to play out.
    I don’t know all the reasons I was healed and I’m certain I don’t know all the lessons I’m supposed to learn from it. But I do know one thing – I’m not going to waste my second chance at life.

    • Jack,

      I am so happy that you are able to make an appearance over here. It is a blessing for everyone, including me. I would consider you a Super guy because of your attitude in the face of certain death.

      I have so much admiration for you and your courage. I am sure that you don’t consider yourself courageous. I have watched grown men wilt under the stress of a chance of something bad happening. I know you have some really tough days and nights. I know you shed tears and doubted everything. All of that is normal. You inspired so many by your strength, your words, and your spirit. In the future, you will inspire so many more. One of those people might be me or someone I love. I will prophylactically thank you.

      I know you won’t waste your second chance because you didn’t waste your first chance.

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