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Patriotic Essay

By Thurman P. Woodfork

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Old soldiers sit reminiscing over the past wars of their vanished youth. The urgent tingle of increased adrenalin stirs briefly in their veins, roused by the sight of today's untested youth preparing for war.

Just look at them, vibrant in the latest military garb, some armed with the same weapons their elders had carried so many years before. Others hold new, modern weapons as they set off to offer their all to restore peace in this current round of international hostilities.

There's a hint of moisture in the old soldiers' eyes. Is it from pride in the bravery and dedication of the young people before them? Do the old vets empathize with the youngsters moving off to this ultimate of life-altering experiences? Or, is it due to reawakened memories of the lost friends who marched off in like manner so many years ago, and who never came back?

Perhaps it's the sad knowledge that these cherished young people will inevitably learn the truth of their own vulnerability and will rudely, abruptly, and forevermore cease to be youths.

Of course, it could just be a reaction to some errant dust or pollen on the wind. Maybe ‘mature' eyes naturally growing watery with advancing age...

No, no – take a closer look – those tears come from deep within.
Thurman P. WoodforkBy Thurman P. Woodfork
Copyright 2005

About Author... Thurman P. Woodfork (Woody) spent his Air Force career as a radar repairman in places as disparate as Biloxi, Mississippi; Cut Bank, Montana; Tin City, Alaska; Rosas, Spain and Tay Ninh, Vietnam. In Vietnam, he was assigned to Detachment 7 of the 619th Tactical Control Squadron, a Forward Air Command Post located on Trai Trang Sup. Trang Sup was an Army Special Forces camp situated about fifty miles northwest of Saigon in Tay Ninh province, close to the Cambodian border. After Vietnam, Woody remained in the Air Force for nine more years. Visit Thurman P. Woodfork's site for more information

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