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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 12/8/2003 5:27:53 PM EDT
Hi,

I just wanted to share what happened on my flight from Dallas, TX to Phoenix, AZ. There were two young soldiers on the flight dressed in 3 color desert camo BDUs. Turned out they were both coming back from Iraq.

Many people shook their hands, thanked them for their service and welcomed them home, including yours truly. It was very nice to see that people are not neutral about supporting our troops. I couldn't help but feel like there's nothing I can say that would adequately express my gratitude and pride.

One of them had a "Brave Rifles 3rd" patch, the other had an "Airborne" patch with a Bald Eagle head in a shield (101st I think). Their uniforms were clearly battle worn although not ragged. What fine men and women we have who lay it all on the line for our safety and freedom.

It certainly put my problems of late in perspective. They are out there every day in harms way on my behalf while the biggest challenge I face is figuring out what to buy for Christmas. Strangely I will always feel a little less than those who served this country with honor.

Regards,
Balu

--
Si vis pacem para bellum!
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 6:01:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:22:23 PM EDT
I would be shocked if the "security" assholes in Pheonix don't go apeshit over them "wearing those commando clothes" in THEIR airport!!! I have never seen more inept/rude people than at Sky Harbor in Pheonix..... That being said... I am not sure that we can ever really express our sincere gratitude to men like these. Partly because alot of civilians don't ever truly grasp just how thankful they should be. It's not really their fault. They just don't really understand what men like these two do to protect our way of life. Not all civilians are like this, but many are. Sadly enough...
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:31:30 PM EDT
Gentlemen, From my own past experiences and those of my soldiers. The best thing that can be said or done is a good hearty handshake and a heartfelt "Thank you". These men and women do the things that need to be done as it their job. An occassional offer of a drink doesn't often hurt, but a thank you and a warm smile mean oh so much to these brave men and women. To each of these brave folks I add my own "THANK YOU!" Scorpion34 Out!
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:39:23 PM EDT
It must be very surreal for these young fighters to come home for their short leaves. I understand that many of the 101st soldiers have been overseas for over a year without getting to come home. I can't imagine what it is like for them to come home on short notice, and have to turn around seemingly as soon as they arrive to go back to the gates of hell. God bless them all, and may they all return home safely in due course.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:43:24 PM EDT
I had the opportunity to help one out Friday. Our flight was detoured from Harrisburg to Pittsburg due to weather. I decided to rent a car and drive it - about 4~5 hours. I offered a ride to a Major returning from 6 months in Korea, headed home for the holidays, and his 4 kids and a couple birthday parties. Feels good to help out a serviceman.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 4:10:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2003 4:12:21 AM EDT by MrsWildweasel]
It's also surprising to the service men and women when my 17 year old goes up and thanks them . They don't know what to say. My 17 year old also just signed his contract for combat engineer in the national guard. I also wish more civilians had a better understanding of who fights for their freedoms.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 9:13:45 AM EDT
The Soldier outside my door The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest. Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight. The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep in perfect contentment, or so it would seem. So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream. The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear. Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow. My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near. Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child. "What are you doing?" I asked without fear "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!" For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts, to the window that danced with a warm fire's light then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night" "Its my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times. No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December," Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers." My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam And now it is my turn and so, here I am. I've not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile. Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red white and blue... an American flag. "I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home, I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat, I can carry the weight of killing another or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers who stand at the front against any and all, To insure for all time that this flag will not fall." "So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright Your family is waiting and I'll be all right." "But isn't there something I can do, at the least, "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast? It seems all too little for all that you've done, For being away from your wife and your son." Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, "Just tell us you love us, and never forget To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone. To stand your own watch, no matter how long. For when we come home, either standing or dead, to know you remember we fought and we bled is payment enough, and with that we will trust. That we mattered to you as you mattered to us. ~Author Unknown
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