Tuesday, November 10, 2009

God Bless the Fallen of Fort Hood 11/5/2009

I wanted to write while emotion was still fresh. Attending a military memorial service has to be one of the hardest things I've ever done. Sadly, I've attended a few. Watching a live stream was just as real as sitting in one of the pews at the chapel. I admit that I had some reservations about watching it, I am not into the dog and pony show that sometimes occurs when "big names" attend such events. I wanted to keep in my own perspective what this opportunity was about. To allow closure for many, a chance at a goodbye. Sometimes we get caught up in the "event and protocol" of it all that we lose sight of what really matters. What mattered today was honoring these 13 Soldiers who lost their lives tragically. The news continues to call one a civilian which technically he was, but upon further research you find out that he is a retired Soldier and therefore I will respect him in that manner because "Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier" (I credit a milblogger for that term).

As I watched, I was able to keep myself in emotional check. I thought the sentiments of the speakers were nice. I'll leave it at that as to keep the integrity of my post. I braced myself for what was to come and was grateful that I was in the privacy of my bedroom because I admit that Final Roll Call, the 21 Gun Salute and TAPS always does me in.

If you have never had the honor of attending a military memorial service or funeral, you can't understand the emotion that comes with it. I think inside we all become a little idealistic that perhaps someone will answer when their name is called and the silence is so deafening it cuts into your soul. And as if that cut isn't deep enough the shots ringing out in tribute pierce through your heart and just when you think there is no more emotion left in you, the sound of a silent bugler playing the notes to TAPS sucks away the very last bit of composure. Or at least it does for me.

Yes, I could avoid such emotion but it is the LEAST I can do to HONOR these great Americans for their sacrifice. They chose as many stated today "something bigger then themselves". They didn't know me but they willingly provided me with my freedom and that alone is reason enough to take the time to honor them.

Honor...it's one of the 7 Army Values..along with Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. If you have taken the time to listen to the stories and the sequence of events from November 5th, you'll capture all of those values within the actions of the Fallen, the Wounded and the responders...THAT is what this Army life is about, THAT is why I am proud to call myself an Army Veteran, an Army Wife, an Army family and an Army supporter. That my friends is what the statement ARMY STRONG truly means.

Please, take a moment...read each name and pay tribute with HONOR the 13 Fallen Heroes of Fort Hood. God Speed Soldiers, you have been redeployed to Heaven

MAJ Libardo Caraveo, 52, Woodbridge, Va.

SPC Frederick Greene, 29, Mountain City, Tenn.

CW2 (Ret.) Michael Cahill, 62, Cameron

PVT Francheska Velez, 21, Chicago

PFC Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, West Jordan, Utah

PFC Michael Pearson, 31, Bolingbrook, Ill.

SPC Jason Dean Hunt, 27, Frederick, Okla.

SGT Amy Krueger, 29, Kiel, Wisc.

PFC Kham Xiong, 23, St. Paul, Minn.

LTC Juanita Warman, 55, Pittsburgh, Pa.

CPT Russell Seager, 51, Racine, Wisc.

SSG Justin DeCrow, 32, Fort Gordon, Ga.

CPT John Gaffaney, 56, San Diego, Calif.

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