Sunday, July 3, 2022 |
Share this story
• Special honor guard
Special honor guard
A few days ago, I was on a flight returning from Frankfurt, Germany, to the US. As we stood in line, waiting to exit the plane in Chicago, the passenger across the aisle from me turned and spoke. “You know that girl I was sitting with? This morning, she was in Iraq…” She had been wounded, suffering extensive soft tissue damage to her knee. She had caught a military plane to Ramstein Air Force base, changed to civilian clothes, and caught the American Airlines flight at Frankfurt, to fly home for rehabilitation.
The old white man was visibly upset that she was being sent home alone.
“It’s just not right,” he commented. He and his buddy, both around 80, had been to Europe in time for the World War Two victory commemorations. Their “Greatest Generation” had fought in North Africa, invaded Normandy, stopped a ferocious counter-attack at the Bulge, and liberated Western Europe.
They did so as part of a segregated military, where combat troops were mostly white, and completely male.
The young woman, about 20, was part of the modern Army. She was female, and African-American. She has sworn the same oath as the old men, taken fire, and returned fire, as they did. In their eyes, she was one of them, sharing experinces that only a combat veteran could understand.
The old man sought out his buddy, and repeated the story. Together, they provided an impromptu honor guard for their injured buddy, if only from the plane to baggage claim. Three comrades, connecting the Greatest Genearation to the Nintendo Generation.
Three Americans who had also sworn the unwritten oath, never to leave a buddy behind.
As we approach our 229th commemoration of our independence, committed to a bitter war on the other side of the world, we should be grateful that we still have citizens such as these.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.