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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't You Dare Not Be Proud

This is supposed to be my mostly about writing blog but I received this yesterday and I just feel the need to pass it along.

Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins. LSA Anaconda is at the Ballad Airport in Iraq, north of Baghdad:

I recently attended a showing of 'Superman 3' here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom at all military bases, we stood to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going well until three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem, the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here in Iraq, 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again and the Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. But again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect 1000 Soldiers standing at attention to do? Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start.

But no. You could have heard a pin drop, while every Soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly, there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soon the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off:

"And the rockets' red glare,
the bombs bursting in air,
gave proof through the night
that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave,
o'er the land of the free,
and the home of the brave."

It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq and I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you. Remember them as they fight for us!

I can't think of a thing to add except - God bless them all.

My current word count: 30,877 (Doing lots of plot revisions. Unfortunately, that doesn't add to the word count.)

I'm currently enjoying: The Treasures of Carmelidrium by N. R. Williams

Groaner of the day: A husband stood in front of the bathroom mirror, carefully flossing his teeth. "Ooh!" he would sigh every once in a while, or "Aaah!" as the little thread did its work.

Suddenly and seemingly without provocation, his wife stomped into the bathroom and gave him a swift kick.

Bewildered, the husband demanded, "What was that for ?"

I'm sorry, "his wife replied stiffly, ... "but I just don't believe in sighing flossers."


Dru said...

okay, you got me, I don't get the groaner.

Maria Zannini said...

How could you not be proud? I wish I could hug each of them.

Liz Fichera said...

Thank you for sharing that. And I'm not in the least bit surprised at those young men and women. I love our soldiers.

Anonymous said...

Great story and thanks for posting! I love our men and women in uniform. Its because of them we can think, write, and speak freely what we want.

Mary Vaughn said...

Very touching. I'm one of those who sing and cry every every time it's played.
The groaner was exactly that. Loved it.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Dru - I left the answer on Facebook (below your comment). Did you find it?

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria - Absolutely.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Liz - I had to share it. We don't think about our men and women overseas often enough.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Stephen - We owe them so much more than they'll ever receive.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Mary - Me, too. Lump in the throat every time. Sometimes I hear them play Retreat when they lower the flags at the Air Force Base nearby. I go and stand at the front door to give my respect until it's done.

Shellie said...

Linda, this made me cry. I'm so proud of those young men and women. Thank you for sharing this.

Dru said...

oooh, now I get it 8-)