By Boot Girl Intern Sydney McFerron
One day while walking to class, I had the crashing realization that thousands of men and women, whom I’ve never met, gave me the freedom to get here to college…to get to this point in my life.
What a humbling thought. They keep me safe and I don’t even know them. More importantly, they don’t even know me. That idea has grown inside me, changing the way I see, the way I think, and how I respect servicemen and women.
The Boot Campaign is closely tied to the Lone Survivor Foundation, started by former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. Ever read his book? Let me just tell you that his book, Lone Survivor, meant the world to me. After reading it, I was able to better understand what it means to be a soldier, what it means to fight for your country, and how much bigger the big picture is. The world is not just about me. This book gave faces to the soldiers who died, and I felt that I knew Danny, Axe and Mike a little. I saw a glimpse of who they were and what freedom costs.
I know that I cannot carry that burden or truly understand the price of freedom, but I am extremely grateful to the brave people who do. The Boot Campaign is something that you can’t un-see. Once you’ve seen who these soldiers are, what they’ve done, their grief, their resiliency, you can’t turn a blind eye and not want to help in any way possible.
Trust me, I’ve seen behind-the-scenes. The Boot Girls are truly humbled by the sacrifices of servicemen and women. I’m insanely happy that I’ve been able to be a part of this organization.
I don’t really know what the future has in store for me, but I do know that being a student isn’t my only responsibility. I feel that since I enjoy the freedoms given me, the education I am blessed to have, and the ability to sleep peacefully at night, I should at the very least say thank you. The scary thing is, my generation is the soon-to-be future. We have a responsibility to care for those who paved this path for us.
If you’re ever at OU, you might see me walking around. I’m the girl in combat boots. I’m the girl who sees the world differently thanks to the Boot Campaign.