To Volunteers of America
Let this sink in for a minute.....Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the country are headed for IRMA to help victims’. Almost all of them driven by men. They're using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.
Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used jungle-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there's a preponderance of camo.
These are The Quiet Ones. They don't wear masks and tear down statues. They don't, as a rule, march and demonstrate. And most have probably never been in a Whole Foods.
But they'll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They'll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.
When disaster strikes, it's what men do. Real men. Heroic men. American men. And then they'll knock back a few shots, or a few beers with like-minded men they've never met before, and talk about fish, or ten-point bucks, or the benefits of hollow-point ammo, or their F-150.
And the next time they hear someone talk about "the patriarchy", or "male privilege", they'll snort, turn off the TV and go to bed.
In the meantime, they'll likely be up again before dawn. To do it again. Until the helpless are rescued. And the work's done.
They're unlikely to be reimbursed. There won't be medals. They won't care. They're heroes. And it's what they do.