USA Patriotism! ... "Showcasing Pride of America"USA Store! ... American / Patriotic themed gift products at USA Patriotism!"Mere Chance ... A Greatest Generation Story" by David G. BancroftAmerican Pride: Poems Honoring America and Her Patriots! by David G. BancroftUSA theme polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, hats, caps, swimwear, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, under garments, and other apparel itemsPersonalized USA patriotic caps that you can buy as is ... or with add your own words expressing your American pride!
Home | Articles | Charities | Great Americans | Heroes | Honor Halls | Music | Photos | Poems | Quotes | Reference | Speeches | Stars for Troops | Stories | Student Patriots | Videos
New Content | America's Birth | About | Contact | Submit | Partners | Press | CureNow | DonateJoin / Like the USA Patriotism! Facebook pageUSA Patriotism! YouTube ChannelUSA Patriotism! On TwitterPinterestAdd This ... Bookmark and Share

Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots

By USAF SSgt. Patrice Clarke

Collectibles, apparel, and other gifts ... for Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and veterans!Checks with USA, military, and other patriotic designsFree Gifts from The Bradford Exchange Online
 
USA Flag

Paying Respects To Fallen Airmen: A Lifetime In 8 Minutes
(May 12, 2011)

USA, military, and other patriotic themed pullover and button down Polo shirts

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS - 5/9/2011) -- It was just eight minutes. I would think about that later. It was just eight short minutes from the time the troop commander called everyone to attention to the time he dismissed us. Just eight short minutes that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Eight short minutes in which I watched two fallen military members transferred out the back of a C-17 Globemaster III and onto a waiting truck. Eight minutes where I, along with about 90 other military members, all ranks, all services, civilians too, stood at attention and slowly rendered a salute as those two flag-draped cases were carried off of that aircraft.

Before those eight minutes, the passengers who had been sharing their flight with these two fallen warriors were asked to exit the aircraft and form up two lines, one on either side of the cargo ramp at the 387th Air Expeditionary Group, which is part of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Twelve across, we stood. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen all stood solemnly at parade rest. No one told us to; it was just natural, like the moment demanded every ounce of our military discipline.

It didn't matter that some of these passengers had traveled all day and were only stopping for a little while. It didn't matter that some of us had worked an entire 12-hour day when that aircraft landed late that night.

What mattered were those eight minutes.

As the troop commander called the formation to attention, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. I saw the sharp snap of the six Airmen whose charge it was to carry these fallen warriors off of the aircraft. With grace and poise, these six Airmen performed the transfer.

As they walked past me, I thought of the warriors in those cases. I thought about how these warriors wouldn't be able to feel the soft breeze on a still night. They wouldn't be able to hold their families, hug them or kiss them again. They wouldn't be able to see the stars again.

For those eight minutes, I thought about a lifetime of things these two fallen warriors would never be a part of again. As that thought passed through me with a shiver, I stood a little bit taller, saluted just a little bit sharper. If these two warriors were never going to see these simple joys again, the least I could give was everything, every single thing I had, for the remainder of those eight minutes.

They deserved it. They deserved all that the solemn 90-man formation had that night.

These two warriors gave their life for those simple freedoms, for those things that many of us take for granted. In those eight minutes, I thanked those warriors from the depths of my soul. I thanked them for their sacrifice, and for paying the ultimate price.

My day started as mundane and routine, just another day on my deployment, one more day closer to me returning to my family. It did not, however, end that way.

In those eight short minutes my perspective was forever changed.
By USAF SSgt. Patrice Clarke
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Copyright 2011

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

Comment on this article

USA Store! ... over 1,000 American / Patriotic themed gift products at USA Patriotism!USA / Americana theme ... polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, hats, caps, swimwear, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, under garments, and other apparel itemsAmerican Pride: Poems Honoring America and Her Patriots! by David G. Bancroft
Special Offers - FREE Gifts with Purchase

Charities supported by USA Patriotism! with links to them on all its pages.
USO | American Legion | Operation HomefrontFallen Heroes Fund | Military Order of the Purple Heart | NMFA
Silver Star Families | Gary Sinise Foundation | Journey Home Project | Honor and Remember | Independence Fund

Collectibles, apparel, and other gifts ... for Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and veterans!
Home | America's Birth | ArticlesCharities | Graphics | Great Americans | Heroes | Honor Halls | Music
Photos | Poems | Quotes | Reference | Speeches | Stars For Troops | Stories | Student Patriots | Videos
New Content | About |
Contact | Banners | CureNow | Partners | Press | Privacy


Search USA Patriotism!

 Walmart

Copyright © 2002-2019 ~ USA Patriotism! ~ All Rights Reserved