A warrior of light never defiles his heart with hatred; when he walks towards struggle he remembers about Christ: love your enemies. But he knows that forgiveness does not force him to accept everything. A warrior cannot lower his head otherwise he loses sight of the horizon of his dreams. He remarks that his opponents are there to test his bravery, his perseverance, his decision-making capacity. They are beneficial, because it is they who force him to fight for his dreams. It is the experience of combat that strengthens the Warrior of Light.
Once, I ran from fear so fear controlled me. Until I learned to hold fear like a newborn. Listen to it, but not give in. Honour it, but not worship it. Fear could not stop me anymore. I walked with courage into the storm. I still have fear, but it does not have me.
Once, I was ashamed of who I was. I invited shame into my heart. I let it burn. It told me, “I am only trying to protect your vulnerability”. I thanked shame dearly, and stepped into life anyway, unashamed, with shame as a lover.
Once, I had great sadness buried deep inside. I invited it to come out and play. I wept oceans. My tear ducts ran dry. And I found joy right there. Right at the core of my sorrow. It was heartbreak that taught me how to love.
Once, I had anxiety. A mind that wouldn’t stop. Thoughts that wouldn’t be silent. So I stopped trying to silence them. And I dropped out of the mind, and into the Earth. Into the mud. Where I was held strong like a tree, unshakeable, safe.
Once, anger burned in the depths. I called anger into the light of myself. I felt its shocking power. I let my heart pound and my blood boil. Listened to it, finally. And it screamed, “Respect yourself fiercely now!”. “Speak your truth with passion!”. “Say no when you mean no!”. “Walk your path with courage!”. “Let no one speak for you!” Anger became an honest friend. A truthful guide. A beautiful wild child.
Once, loneliness cut deep. I tried to distract and numb myself. Ran to people and places and things. Even pretended I was “happy”. But soon I could not run anymore. And I tumbled into the heart of loneliness. And I died and was reborn into an exquisite solitude and stillness. That connected me to all things. So I was not lonely, but alone with All Life. My heart One with all other hearts.
Once, I ran from difficult feelings. Now, they are my advisors, confidants, friends, and they all have a home in me, and they all belong and have dignity. I am sensitive, soft, fragile, my arms wrapped around all my inner children. And in my sensitivity, power. In my fragility, an unshakeable Presence.
In the depths of my wounds, in what I had named “darkness”, I found a blazing Light that guides me now in battle.
“Take the Americans Alive” … when the intercepted Taliban radio message was translated. Senior Airman Dustin Temple was sure as hell he’d never let that happen. For 48 hours, Temple and the rest of his Special Forces team fought off an overwhelming force.
When the enemy got close, he called in dangerous close airstrikes. When they ran low on ammunition, he sprinted from cover to a resupply chopper for more. When his friends were shot, he dragged them to safety.
For his heroism and critical role in turning the tide in battle, Senior Airman Temple was awarded the Air Force Cross. Serving with the 21st Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron in Helmand Province, Afghanistan from 27 to 29 September, 2014.
As overwhelming hostile fire continually suppressed his team, Airman Dustin Temple broke the assault on many occasions with danger close air support from F-16’s, AH-1’s, AC-130’s and an MQ-1.
Following a teammate being gravely wounded by a sniper, he put himself directly in the line of fire, and dragged his wounded comrade from the rooftop. With the evacuation helicopter inbound, Airman Temple again risked his own life to save his teammate.
Senior Airman Temple carried him across one-hundred meters of open terrain. Despite overwhelming and accurate enemy machine-gun fire, he remained on the open landing zone, providing covering fire while his teammates pulled back.
After he returned to the compound, enemy fighters surged within 40 meters after intercepted communications stated,”Take the Americans alive.” Temple immediately directed F-16’s in danger close strafing runs, killing one insurgent and repelling the assault.
As supplies dwindled, he braved open terrain again to retrieve critical needed ammunition from a re-supply helicopter. With continuous machine-gun fire, he and a teammate sprinted into the open and dragged the supplies off the aircraft.
However, unable to carry the entire load, they withdrew back to cover. Airman Temple called in close fires from F-16’s to cover his team as they went out to retrieve the remaining ammunition.
Despite the continuous heavy enemy machine-gun fire, Sr.Airman Temple and two men again ran into the open terrain to retrieve the remainder of the supplies for a second time.
At the end of the 48-hour engagement, he controlled 28 attack helicopters and 20 fixed wing assets for a total of 26 engagements while safely employing munitions at danger close-range 75 times.
Airman Temple’s heroic and selfless actions directly resulted in confirmed 10 enemy fighters killed, and another 8 estimated killed, while saving the lives of 38 friendly forces.🇺🇸