Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Sack Lunches

I read this on a website I frequent today and thought I'd pass it on. WOW.  This is definetely correct. Soldiers pay the ultimate price for us, it's amazing to hear about someone doing something for them.

Author: Unknown

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap, I thought. Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.

'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're

being deployed to Afghanistan.' After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time...

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch.

Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base.' His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?' 'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks..'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did.. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, 'I want to shake your hand.' Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base... It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.

These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America 'for an amount of up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bad Ass Chicks

Now that the inital sadness of my GI going back to his base is starting to tone down a little bit.. I've come to realize something incredible.

I am a proud member of the "Bad Ass Chick" Club.

A bad ass chick isn't a girl that rides a motorcycle, picks fights and covers herself in tattoo's.

A truely bad ass chick does what we do every day. A bad ass chick stands up for what she believes in, takes care of herself and puts her life in the hands of fate.

A bad ass chick knows what it's like to have to fall asleep every night on her own. A bad ass chick knows how to make decisions on her own and make her own plans, whether it's what to make for dinner or where to live... because she knows she has to do it on her own, and she knows that she will make the right choices.

A bad ass chick sets goals and follows her dreams instead of standing back and wishing for them to come true. She knows what she wants and she has the ambition to chase those dreams at full force.

A bad ass chick knows the word "deployment" and knows that this one word can shake her world apart. She may have to go weeks or months without a word from the man she loves, but she still gets out of bed everyday and carries on, because she knows laying in bed all day crying and waiting won't make time go by any faster.

A bad ass chick will have to spend birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas with half of her heart missing. But, she doesn't use this as an excuse to not celebrate her life and what she has.
A bad ass chick knows what it's like to need a hug and a kiss when he's too far away to touch. She also knows that missing the feel of his skin for months on end is worth her next first kiss when he comes home. So, she remains true to her soldier, hugs her pillow and waits for it to be her turn.

A bad ass chick does just know the true meaning of love. She knows the deepest, strongest love known to man, a love most can not describe. 

A bad ass chick can hear  "I love you" from her soldier and that's all it takes to remind her no matter how hard it is to miss him, at least she has someone incredible to miss.
A bad ass chick spends plenty of time crying and praying and wishing on a star for him to come home soon. But, the pride she has in her military man for serving our country outweighs all the pain and she wouldn't change it for a thing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The orgin of Taps

Got this in an email for one of my favorite Army Wives today and thought it was very interesting! Just wanted to pass it along cuz you might like it too!

We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, 'Taps...' It's the song that gives us the lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.

But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Elli was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia . The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.
During the night, Captain Elli heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment..

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.

The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out.. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted.

The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.

The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.

But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.

The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.

This wish was granted.

The haunting melody, we now know as 'Taps' used at military funerals was born.

The words are:

Day is done.

Gone the sun.

From the lakes

From the hills.

From the sky.

All is well..

Safely rest.

God is nigh.

Fading light.

Dims the sight.

And a star.

Gems the sky.

Gleaming bright.

From afar.

Drawing nigh.

Falls the night.

Thanks and praise.

For our days.

Neath the sun

Neath the stars.

Neath the sky

As we go..

This we know.

God is nigh

A Few Fun Military Facts:

Thought I'd share a few things I found while googling around tonight! :)

The military used toilet paper to camouflage their tanks in Saudi Arabia, during the Desert Storm War.

Armored knights in medieval times raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.

The buff and blue uniforms of the officers of the Continental Army were drawn from the uniform pattern of the Virginia militia.

The army has over 400,000 enlisted soldiers and 76,000 officers.