Armand C. Hale
September 3, 2009
Red shirt Fridays (author unknown)
By Armand C. Hale

A friend of mine sent me this story that I have seen on more than one occasion. I take no credit as the author and I commend whoever wrote this marvelous piece. It cannot be over stressed enough as to what our military men and women do for our country. Active duty members of the armed forces along with veterans wrote a blank check payable to "The United States of America" for an amount "up to and including their life." That is Honor and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

While traveling to Chicago, a business man noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag. He boarded his flight, turned to the sergeant who'd been invited to sit in First Class across from him, inquired if he was heading home.

"No," he responded.

"Are you heading out?"
"No. I'm escorting a soldier home."

"Are you picking 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 the business man like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He was told 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 just a few days.

The business man turned to him, extended his hand and said, "Thank you, thank you for doing what you do, so I and my family 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 the honor of an active duty sergeant of the United States Marine Corps 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 the Sergeant to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."

Without a sound, all went as requested. He noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made him realize that he was proud to be an American.

So here is a public "Thank You" to our military Men and Women that I was a part of for so many years for doing what you do so we all can live the way we do.

Don't be silent any more. Wear a red shirt on Fridays.

© Armand C. Hale

 

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Armand C. Hale

Armand C. Hale retired from the U.S. Air Force serving over 23 years, which included tours in Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. A degree in logistics management, he has written a book on his experiences in the country of Qatar. You can purchase his book at Word Clay Book Store and Lulu Books. He receives feedback at iw2bgu@aol.com

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