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Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by RussP, Apr 27, 2004.
Honestly cannot think of anything else to say...
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I can relate to these soldiers from the Old Guard. At various times while I was on active duty, I was a member of various "Funeral Details". I can honestly say that I would rather spend my time in the field than in such assignments. I would rather spend my days road marching, moving-to-contact, and digging fighting positions. This is the job for which I had become an Infantryman for.
But when you are part of such a detail, you want everything to be done perfectly. You want every member of the rifle detail to fire so that it sounds as if it came from a single . You want the Taps to be sharp and crisp and in the proper cadence and with the right solenm pauses. You want the casket-bearers to be stoic and solemn; and you pray that they can move as one without any bobbling of the casket. You wan the flag to be folded perfectly on the first try. And you hope that the Presenting Officer can say the right words to help ease the greiving family's sorrow.
Yet, we are human. Tears will run down our faces, the bugler can make a mistake and one of the members of the rifle detail can be late, early, or have a misfire. The casket-bearers can step into a depression or strain under the weight of the fallen. It might take more than one attempt to correctly fold the American flag that draped the hero's casket. The Presenting Officer can choke on his words and show his grief for the family's lost.
But this is why we assign real soldiers to conduct this asignment. If we wanted perfection we should use machines. It is these small mistakes that make each and every funeral memorable for everyone. When you are part of these details, you will forever remember the thanks that you all received from the deceased friends on a job well done. You will remember the histerics their loved ones went through. You never forget the silent grieving the strongest of survivors showed.
I hated having to put on my Dress Uniform, spit-shined boots, shined brass, and stand in the heat or rain for the whole ceremony. I hated the hours upon hours that we had to practice so that we faced, loaded, aimed, and fired our M-16A1s at the same time. I am still honored that I was able to do my best for that retired Colonel from Alabama, that young Sergeant who was killed by a vehiclular accident in Germany and buried in GA, and the other fellow soldiers we tried to honor with our presence.
Despite our racial or generational gaps, they were fellow soldiers and they have earned the time and effort it takes for the current generation of soldiers to make their funeral as perfect as possible. Despite the anti-Bush liberals who think that he should attend each and every one of these Dover Flights, I would have to vehemently disagree. If it were up to me, I would never allow any press, politician, or family member to view it ever. This is the time where the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine say their goodbyes to a fallen comrade - away from everyone else. Just as the actual funeral is where the hero's grieving family and friends say their goodbyes without any interference from the military, press, or politicians.
God Bless these soldiers who partake in this most thankless of jobs. God Bless the heroes they bear on our (Veterans) behalf.
I love them all, for they are my fallen brethren.
I realy wish I could say something here, but yall have already said it.
Well said Carlos.
Your meaning is...?
"Fallen comrades" in German. Sorry, don't know how to do the Umlaut on this keyboard.
Just curious... Didn't see a post from you on the "Vets, tell us about your service..." thread, but you do post in my "Paratrooper vets told to pack it in..." thread that you jumped with the Pathfinders in 2000 and 2001 D-Day events, but didn't in 2002 & 2003 because of deployment.
Are you an active duty Pathfinder? Active or former: ;?
Guess that's why your use of German puzzled me.
;? ;? ;? ;? ;?