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Old March 1st, 2006, 10:15 AM
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Default Our Military

A couple of weeks ago I was traveling on business. I had a two hour layover in Atlanta prior to coming home.
While waiting in Atlanta I saw maybe 25 or 30 of our armed forces sitting around in their desert fatigue uniforms.
I struck up a conversation with a few and found that they were all returning from Iraq. What an impressive looking, acting, and talking group of people they were. They were all optimistic about their work and the positive effects they felt they were achieving in the middle east.
I know some of you have children in the military and I just wanted to add my compliments and thank you's to each of your families.
However something haunted me after seeing these soldiers. They were all CHILDREN !! For someone raised on John Wayne movies and grizzled men with cigars hanging out of their mouths fighting WWII, I was just dumbfound and startled.
This post is not meant to be a debate or commentary on the war or the US mideast policy. It is merely a statement about our youth. I know these soldiers are young adults, but to somebody my age they are still children.
I can still see their faces in my mind and somehow it is troubling.
God bless them all and may they all return home safely.

Regards,
Ben
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Old March 1st, 2006, 10:26 AM
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You are exactly correct Ben. I, (a Vietnam vet) work at MacDill A.F.B.,and can't help but do a double take at a lot of our troops. They all seem so young,,,,even the officers! (I guess that really makes me old, doesn't it?) Back to reality though,,,I was 18 and 19 years old when in Vietnam, so I guess there really isn't that much differance,,,,just that as an old guy, I notice it lots more. God bless our folks in the military today. As usual, they are doing a wonderful job, and we owe them a lot.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Indeed we rely on our young people now to volunteer to make the armed forces their career.

What always amazes me when we meet any of these young men and women volunteers is how mature they become/are after a short time in the forces.
Astonishing to see so many others their age "at home" searching to find themselves and their lives.

Thankfully those who do volunteer dedicate themselves to serving our countries.. and god bless them for doing so!
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Old March 1st, 2006, 12:46 PM
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They have my eternal thanks and gratitude.

I just can't understand why many of them can't buy a beer.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 1st, 2006, 12:58 PM
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I lived around the military until I was 23 years old. They always look so young yet asked to do so much. I'm with Mike.. You should be able to buy a darn beer if your duty is to go to war.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:14 PM
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am I glad you guys said it first, these kids, in my eyes are just babies, I cannot even imagine my son going to war at such a young age, and if he wasin the states he would not be able to grab a beer. My kid is not a drinker, dont get me wrong, it would just seem wierd he is old enough to go to war but not old enough to buy a lotto ticket or a beer...........and any one with a child in the military, my thanks to you and your sons and daughters. I may not agree with American politics right now, but no one can say these kids are not hero's.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:36 PM
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We are honoring a group this Saturday. There is a parade for Charlie Company's Homecoming. The Military Moms have a float we will be riding on. Dana (the Navy daughter) will be riding with us, as well as our founder's son who has returned from Iraq.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Living close to Camp Pendleton and having 3 USMC sons, (2 recruiters) I agree...they look like babies and can't buy a drink. But when you talk to them , most sound like men, know what they want and what they are doing. I love to hear them say "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am"...uhh the other marines, not my sons...lol...it's just yessss mom as usual. I'll pass on everyones appreciation...they can never hear it enough. Thanks.

Proud USMC mom!
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:01 PM
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Worth being proud of, aren't they?

Judy
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:09 PM
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Absolutely... My brother-in-law is getting ready to retire with twenty years and he saids everyone calls him "The old Man". hahaha He's 39. My nephew-in-law is 19 and is in Korea at the moment.

Blessings to all those who service.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:45 PM
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It's funny that you mention the beer. The first time I reenlisted, after three years in the Marines, the reenlistment officer gave me the oath, then commented that he guessed I'd be going over to the club to have a drink to celebrate. I said, I'd love to, but was only 20 years old, and couldn't drink yet. (Already served three years in the Corps, and been in combat in Vietnam).
Ken
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Old March 1st, 2006, 11:16 PM
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Ben, I wonder if you met James in Atlanta. He returned from Iraq only a few weeks back, and I know he was returning to Georgia. James and his lovely wife Kris were a lovely couple we met on our Paradise cruise a few years back. He was home from Iraq at the time, but being shipped out again.
Kris and I met online, right here on CruiseMates, before the cruise, and it was she who spotted me in the line-up at boarding time!
I was so glad to hear that James had come home safe and sound after a year and a half in Iraq. We hope to be able to cruise with them again sometime!

(JKMAH, if you're still lurking on the boards, please let us know how it's going with James home at last!)

donna
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 05:37 PM
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I was just reading the obits for the week of military killed in Iraq; six were 21 and one was 28. When will this all end? God Bless them and all our military. My nightly prayers always include "please bring our soldiers home soon and keep them safe".


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