My oldest daughter Lauren just won the NCAA Championship Medal above. She earned it as the playoff goalie for the Juniata College Women's Field Hockey Team. Lauren never played field hockey as a sport until the end of the 2010 season when she was drafted by the team to be the goalie if their championship game came down to penalty shots. Lauren is tall, quick and has been good against penalty kicks in soccer during all the years she has played goalkeeper. Lauren practiced with the field hockey team for three weeks before the playoffs, but never played in a game. Juniata was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round and there were no penalty shots. But Lauren was on the team and got an NCAA medal.
She played four years for the Juniata Women's Soccer Team, sharing the goal for three years with "KP." During her three years Lauren had an open compound fracture of her right index finger--she gets the screws out in a few weeks--a couple of concussions, knee injuries and many minor injuries. But she got the medal for field hockey.
During my first service in the Army, I was a tank commander with Bravo Company 1-70th Armor. During my first three years with Bravo, I trained for months in the desert of southern Colorado, followed by months of winter training in Germany. I shared all this misery with a hundred great guys, most of whom never got a medal.
The last year I was in Germany, I worked on the base newspaper. I went to the field for days, not weeks. I ate hot food. I had a Jeep or a car. I got my first Army Commendation Medal for getting 70th Armor and 4th Brigade int he newspaper.
Life is like that.