Sunday, November 8, 2009

Veteran's Day

As veteran’s day nears, my thoughts wander to our American service men and women who are fighting and dying on foreign soil. More recently, some of our soldiers were killed by an Islamic terrorist here at home while in garrison. These soldiers swore an oath to our constitution to defend our country from enemies both foreign and domestic. Unfortunately, sometimes that oath requires the ultimate sacrifice of a soldier’s life.

Today, Michelle and I rode our motorcycles down to pay our respects to one such soldier who gave it all on the field of battle. Danny Dietz. Petty Officer 2nd Class Dietz was a 25 year old Navy Seal who epitomized honor, duty, and valor on the battlefield. Wounded seriously 5 times, Danny fought hard to protect the lives of his three teammates during an intense gunfight in Afghanistan in June of 2005. His injuries were so severe that no one would have blamed him for not continuing to pour out precision fire into the enemy’s ranks. But he did. He kept fighting with the complete and total selflessness of someone who cares deeply about his teammates above himself. His story is documented in Marcus Luttrell’s book
Lone Survivor. Danny and the rest of his SEAL team’s story is shocking and amazing and should be required reading of every American. It shows the level of sacrifice our warriors put out every day.

Danny is from Littleton, Colorado and a local artist was so moved by his story he created a bronze sculpture to honor his sacrifice. The monument is moving and emotional to stand next to. Today, Michelle and I were the only ones there to view his memorial. But we weren’t the first. Many had come by and placed something on the monument in thanks. The cool breeze was blowing dried up leaves across the grass. Cars would cruise by with the drivers oblivious to the soldier whose gaze will stare forward into eternity, on guard, preventing them from harm. His posture in the statue is strong, head up, eyes forward as if scanning for threats. His jaw is set with fierce determination. His hands cradle his weapon like a craftsman’s tool. It is an amazing work of art.
But it is more than a statue honoring one soldier. It stands for the thousands of men and women who have stepped willingly into harms way and been wounded or killed to protect our freedoms and America’s interests. Every city in our great country should have one of these statues of a local hero who gave it all. But they don’t. This one almost didn’t get built because the local parents and neighbors thought it was bad form to place a statue of a soldier holding his weapon so near a school. Their ignorance and focus was on the gun, not the story of heroism. But justice and honor prevailed and this monument to courage was permanently fixed in place.

I urge you all to take the drive one afternoon to Berry Park in Littleton and spend some time with Danny. Think about the freedoms you have and the life you are able to lead in our Republic. Realize just how precious our freedoms are and how many are trying to tear them down. Set your own moral compass toward protection of our constitution, supporting our soldiers, and electing politicians who are just and honest and who will fight to protect what so many have given up to build. The cost of freedom is not paid in a stimulus bill, it is paid for in blood. The blood of an American soldier who may or may not “believe” in the battles they are asked to fight. The blood of American citizens who VOLUNTEER to protect you while you sleep comfortably in your bed, spend time with your family, and chase your career. The blood of your neighbor, relative, co-worker, or total stranger. These soldiers allow you to be a conservative or liberal, democrat or republican, activists or non-activists, to start your own business, and control your own destiny. They allow you to lead YOUR life the way YOU want to lead it.
This year, take a minute and support someone who fought for you by making a donation to any fine soldier supporting agency such as Wounded Warrior Project ( or the USO ( . You can even reach out and organize a package delivery to any soldier in any theater of battle ( But most of all, simply don’t forget them this veteran’s day.

Tim “Top Fueler” Buhler


  1. Tim, Great story. I will make a point to visit the bronze sculpture. I'm sure I will be touched in its presents. Thanks for the insight I didn’t even know the monument was there.
    Sam Morris

  2. That was I great piece Tim. I think my father and I will go down and pay tribute since he was a team member and fought for this country. We should all be grateful we have such loyal and brave people who are willing to shed their own blood to keep their own countrymen safe from hatred and evil. Thank you for your story Tim and Thank you Danny for your sacrifice.
    -Wesley Stone