Brothers

Brothers
E Plurubus Unum, Rex Montis

Saturday, July 28, 2007

...and then we were home

If home is where your heart is, then I finally caught up with mine; we're back! We arrived in B-town last Sunday (22nd). Many miles and many months have passed. Many hardships have been overcome. We've bled and we've cried. "All gave some, some gave all." I never want to "put it all behind" I've learned a lot about myself in the past 22 months, and a lot about my fellow man. I imagine I'll never look at life the same again, and I hope most of it will be for the better. Some things I wish hadn't happened, but we don't always get what we wished for. Time to step out of the uniform and sand, and into green grass and vacation clothes.

I had the honor of serving over-sea's with Minnesota's finest. I had the pleasure of being greeted and welcomed on our return by more of the same. Another shout out to my brothers and sisters in the Patriot Guard Riders. A protester had apparently showed up to protest us on our return to Minnesota. This indivdual said it was "His right to protest." He was then told he wasn't the only one with "rights," and that they weren't afraid to go to jail....he decided it would be healthier to take his opinion else-where.
We had riders from the time we entered Minnesota, all the way to our release in B-town!
A moment of silence as I remember a fellow soldier, retired, and patriot guard rider; now one of the fallen. I went to his funeral the day after our return. My heart goes out to his family. He commented on this blog as "Old Sarge" we'll remember him always.

It is SO good to be HOME!!! 6 days have come and gone already. I feel in certain ways I am adapting, but it is painfully clear in others that it will take time. Someone lit a fire-cracker off down my street. On the outside I merely flinched and my head whipped around...on the inside I was all turmoil: my hand clenching and unclenching...perhaps for the comfort and familiar feel of the pistol grip on my rifle. There will be no going "back" to normal, only moving forward.

Minnesota showed her colors proudly as her citizens turned out with shouts, flags and salutes. It brought a tear to my eye to see all the towns and rural areas turning out with all the cheers and support they could muster. Then the greeting we recieved at our own town....it was a site to behold, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It was a hero's welcome.
Not too long ago in another unpopular war troops returned home from a different war and weren't recieved warmly at all. At least we learned a bit from history...I was proud to see many of these soldiers turn out to welcome us home, ensuring that never again would an American soldier come back to anything short of a hero's welcome...thank you. Thank you all and God bless.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Almost home

How can I explain the joy of seeing my homeland once again? We're so close to home right now. A thunderous roar was heard from our company as we crossed into American air-space. We're not quite home yet, it will be days. But I'm in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and it feels so good.

I forgot what so much grass looked like! One of the first things I did was flop down in some grass by the air field and just lay there. No dust in my eyes, no sweat soaking through my clothes...clean, fresh air. Humidity! Trees everywhere. LAKES!!! What a site to behold. I never want to leave again.
It was raining this morning. It's been so long since I've seen rain...a bunch of us went for a walk in it. I never thought I'd thoroughly enjoy a walk in the rain, but I did!
I don't think re-integrating will take as long as we've been told. I may be naive (sp?), but I think it will be ok.
Sure I'm still scanning roads and crowds of people...that may stay with me forever...but it is not something associated with fear so much as habit.
We got a wonderfull warm welcome from the VFW vetarans and wives and people at the airports. Thank you to any and all of you that we clasped hands with.
I'll post more later when I have time. For now, we're on American soil. We're back and we're safe!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Radio

For those of you interested, a friend and I recently did a radio interview via telephone, with Mix 103.7FM. It will be airing in B-town inbetween 8:30am tomorrow, Wednesday 4th of July.

On that note, HAPPY 4th of JULY everyone! I sure wish I could be home to celebrate...but it looks like I'll spend another in Iraq. To all those who have put in time, and all those that have been there supporting them. To my fellow brothers who went too Nam and didn't get the hero's welcome they deserved...here's to freedom!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Patriot Guard

The Patriot Guard has long been on my mind. They are the epitome of what it is to be a friend and an American. They are, in my minds eye, what a soldier must be in others eyes.
There are a lot of thoughts about this war in Iraq. There are opinions that people have. There are people who say it is their “right” to protest at a soldier’s funeral. What is the meaning of the word “right?” People talk about their rights all the time; the right to a fair trial, the right to life, the right to happiness…as well as many others. These are rights that every human being is entitled to. But when does a person who never did anything for their country, have the “right” to disrupt the family and friends of the fallen at a funeral? Some think they have the right to protest. I say nay. Yet the laws of the land say otherwise. Thank God for fellow Americans, neighbors, friends, brothers and sisters who honor and defend the defenders . Thank you Patriot Guard for defending our family and friends…our fallen brethren, from those that would seek to dishonor them.