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jimtanker
2007-02-20, 15:44
I work till about 2am every night. Last night I was approached by the 1SG at about 11:30pm, he needed some people for something. Of course my first reaction was, "Great! Another 'Hey you' detail."

The reason he needed these people was to send off another of our soldiers. And not in a good way.

We practiced the Fallen Comrade ceremony for about an hour. Like we haven't practiced this enough before. This time it was for real. Again.

After an hour of practice in the cold night air we boarded a bus headed to the airstrip at the other end of post. We sat there for about a half hour soaking up the heat and joking around like soldiers do when they've been up for 24 hours already and have some downtime. Then its off the bus!

Lined up at double arm interval for 30 meters behind a C-17, waiting.......

4 in the morning, no sleep, 30*F, 5 mph wind, no hat, no gloves, no snivel gear. And not a peep one out of the men and women who have the honor to say farewell to one of our fallen.

45 minutes later, at parade rest the entire time, from the far end of the airstrip, comes a procession, blue lights on the lead vehicle. Now its all too real.

The vehicle stops, the band starts and we get, "Cordon, Aten-shun! Present, Arms!" I stand a little straighter, and salute a little harder than usual as the flag draped casket comes by. There are already 8 caskets in that HUGE C-17 already. Soon there will be one more.

All that I could think about the entire time I was standing there was;
All the mothers that will never be able to go to bed at night without crying themselves to sleep,
All of the fathers that are remembering their little boy that they used to play catch with,
All of the wives and girlfriends that just lost the love of their lives,
All of the children that will never grow up having a father on who's knee that they can bounce on.....


What did you do last night?

incognito
2007-02-20, 16:40
Saw the avater of Starlyte showing the reception given to Sgt Rock when he arrived. Were glad he's home!!!!

Made me think of the reception that the military got when they arrived home from Vietnam, what a contrast, they were spat upon. The thought brought a heavyness into my heart and a tear to my eyes. I served in 65,66,67. We all share a common love for our country. Thats why we serve.

Stay Safe, Thank You For Your Service.

Iceman
2007-02-20, 17:59
...What did you do last night?

I sure didn't earn staying and enjoying this country like you have. JT, thanks for showing us a bit of what is going on where you are. This whole world needs more folks like yourself.

Take-a-knee
2007-02-20, 19:07
JT, did it make you want to go "get some"?

Just Jeff
2007-02-20, 21:23
What did you do last night?

Tucked in my kids and snuggled with my wife in the freedom you helped provide. Thanks for serving. Now come home safe so you can enjoy that freedom again, too.

KBob
2007-02-23, 17:45
The two strongest bonds that most will never know or could never understand, "Brothers in arms and Brothers in blood." From an old vet, thanks for your service to our country.

bird dog
2007-03-02, 00:44
Prayed with my kids before they went to bed for soldiers like you. BD

SSG McNeal
US Army 93-00

Bear
2007-03-03, 08:23
I thanked God that my nephew came home in a wheel chair and not a body bag like six of the soldiers who served with him have since he has been home. I pray to God everyday that he will one day walk again and be able to join my son, his brother in law, and me on a weekend hike at Eagle Rock Loop in Arkansas. And I often pray that God watches over soldiers like you and brings each and everyone of them home safely so they can enjoy the freedom that so many take for granted.
God bless you and all of our soldiers at home and abroad.
Come home safe and soon. And thank you for all you do.

Amigi
2007-03-03, 19:59
:adore: jimtanker Stay safe, bro.

:pow-mia: