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Band of Brothers

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

(Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech from Henry V)

As a kid, I too had dreams of serving in the military.  I read books on the Navy Frogmen.  I was fascinated by the Green Berets.  Of course, having diabetes at the age of seven, in 1976, put a huge damper on my dream.  I had a lot of inspiration.  My father served in the Navy.  Both grandfathers served in the Army.  My great uncles did too.  All had adventures; all had stories to tell.  I wanted desperately to be a part of those adventures…

But alas, that didn’t happen.  Now some 34 years later, I’m a husband and father.  I hold down a tech job and drink copious amounts of caffeine.  Boring right?

Actually, not so.  It’s what you make of life that defines who you are.  Back in the late 70′s and 80′s and 90′s…you get the picture, exercise and diabetes wasn’t actually promoted too well.  As a matter of fact, it was more downplayed, more shied away from than encouraged.  But sometimes the need to push the limits happens and so we take that first step.  I, among many of you, have pushed the limits and loved it.

To name a short list, I’ve done the following:  martial arts (28 years), scaled 100+ foot cliff walls, parachuted (my parents still don’t know I did this one), survived an Army survival course, kayaked a class 4 rapid…  The list goes on.

We, as diabetics, don’t have to live a sedentary life.  No!  We can accomplish great things IF we aspire to push ourselves beyond the walls of this disease.  We may not be able to serve our country directly, but we can support each other and the brave men and women who do so every day.  Let not your heart be troubled.  Do something great this day!

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother!

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

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