It kinda works today too...  

rm_titsandtires 51M/41F
2973 posts
7/3/2006 7:46 am

Last Read:
9/20/2008 6:24 pm

It kinda works today too...

This was a post last year for veteran's day, reposted today for celebration of the fourth. It doesn't work exactly, but you'll get the idea... enjoy, and happy 4th to each and every one of you.

I served in the military. During a time of peace, thankfully. During that time, in '85,I got the opportunity to go to S. Korea for a training mission for thirty + days. At one point, we left base camp to travel further north for the actual field duty portion of the deployment. For those of you not familiar with this kind of exercise, it's quite a large event. The better part of an entire division, several hundred soldiers, loads up most everything that they have brought to the country with them, and puts it in trucks and drives for 8 or so hours, sets up camp, and becomes completely operational in a matter of hours upon reaching their destination. The whole process may take 16 hours or more sometimes.

We left our base camp at around 5:30 or so in the morning on a Sunday. As we drove these 2 1/2 & 5 ton trucks through these small villages in the Korean countryside, I was amazed at the resourcefulness of these people. Entire areas of hilly land had been terraced off making nearly all of the land flat and useful for farming. All of it done by hand in most cases. I saw 80 year old women over there work harder than most men I know. But I digress...

As we drove through the villages in the early morning hours, there were large sections of the route that were lined on both sides of the street with the people of these small farming villages, elbow to elbow, many with young children on their shoulders, and all with something in their hand. It gave me a feeling that I had never felt before, and have never felt since. The first few that I saw made me smile. The next few dozen made me proud. By the time I went a mile, and saw several hundred, I was invincible. Nothing could ruin that moment. I can't even describe it now.

You all know what was in their hands. American flags. Small, 6" wide at best, American flags. Some were even dull in color, there age obvious. Some were new, still had a crease in the fabric from the packaging i assume. But all being waved enthusiastically by people of all ages. But there was one thing that I saw that cold morning in march that will always stick in my mind. A small little girl sitting on her grandpas shoulders. 3 years old or so, I'd guess. With a flag in one hand and the other arm wrapped around her grandpa's neck, holding on as she waved ferociously. Cute girl, with a pink jacket on, and pink boots to go with it. Rosy cheeks so red they looked like they were painted on.

It was the look on her face. The pure excitement that could have been nothing but genuine on a three year old. Smiling like she had been visited by the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus at the same time on her birthday. She was in the mist of them!

You see, during this time, there were several people of this age who had grandpa's who had served in the Korean War as ROK army soldiers. And I can only assume that these grandpa's had some stories to tell their grandkids about the war and what the American soldiers had done for them. How they might not be there if it hadn't been for the american soldiers who came to help them fight for their freedom, and keep them safe from the communist North Korea. These kids were being told stories where the american soldier was the real life hero. And even though i didn't fight in that war, (hell, i wasn't even born yet) this was my moment to be that hero. A real life hero. At least in that little girls eyes, I was. That was all that counted right then.

Today is the day that I have to be thankful for the American soldiers who fought for the rights of many before me, who made me a hero on that day, and to be thankful to the soldiers who are out there now to give me my freedoms that many of us take for granted. To all of you and to there family members who may read this, I extend my thanks and ask you all, to remember the soldiers who make the little girls smile.



Northerncomfort2 66M
120 posts
7/5/2006 12:10 am

TnT,

TERRIFIC POST!!! And very timely, now that North Korea is insisting on lighting the firecracker next door to that little girl...

MANY have remarked that America cannot be the world's arbiter of morality, but this is a matter of preserving a SEATO Friend and promoting territorial integrity. Surely we will lose COMPLETE "face" (a valued Asian commodity) if we fail to support those whom we have pledged to support...

"N"


hedonisticsob 52M

7/6/2006 6:36 pm

TnT -

Love the post. A belated "thanks" for your service.

- The artist formerly known as hardlyyours4now


SecretEarNoTears 47F  
767 posts
7/8/2006 9:49 pm

Thanks for a great post!

My father served during the Korean conflict as a chaplin's assistant and barely came away with his life. Needless to say he rarely spoke of his time in the Army. My ex-husband is now over in the middle east fighting for an end to the terrorism that has struck this world. Most in his position and area of expertise realize that if we had not gone over there the terrorists would be still striking American soil.

Interestingly, on a different note, my ex has been training all over the US the past few months and recently told me that he's been greeted with open arms, hearts, and prayers everywhere but here in the NW...that saddens me as we have one of the larger National cemetaries too.

Hope you had a great Independence Day!


frbnkslady 48F
6183 posts
7/9/2006 11:26 am

Thank Tires... for a terrific post and for your service.. this made me tear up.. Love ya T

T




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