Monday, February 12, 2007

Red Shirts

(from a friend)

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I
noticed a Marine Sergeant traveling with a folded flag,
but did not put two and two together. After we boarded
our flight, I turned to the Sergeant, who'd been invited
to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he
was heading home.

No, he responded.

Heading out I asked?

No. I'm escorting a soldier home.

Going to pick him up?

No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq I'm
taking him home to his family.

The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me
like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him.
He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier,
he had delivered the news of his passing to the
soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after
many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him,
extended my hand, and said, Thank You. Thank you for
doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.

Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the
gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we
have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the
United States Marine Corps join us on this flight.
He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family.
I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open
the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane
and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off
the seat belt sign."

Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the
sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the
plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud
to be an American. So here's a public 'Thank You" to
our military Men and Women for what you do so we can
live the way we do.

Red Fridays.

Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing
Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support
our troops used to be called the "silent majority."
We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for
God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We
are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.

Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends,
simply want to recognize that the vast majority of
America supports our troops. Our idea of showing
solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and
respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and
every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a
deafening message that ... every red-blooded American
who supports our men and women afar, will wear
something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United
States on every Friday a sea of red much like a
homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every
one of us who loves this country will share this with
acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will
not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it
will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is
on their side more than ever, certainly more than the
media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can
we do to make things better for you?" is ..."We need
your support and your prayers." Let's get the word out
and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear
something red every Friday.

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