The Caliber of the Women and Men of our Armed Forces
From a Chaplain in Iraq.
I recently attended a showing of 'Superman 3' here at LSA Anaconda. We
have a large auditorium we use for movies as well as memorial services and
other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and
snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature.
All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way through the
National Anthem the music stopped.
Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back
in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few
rude comments, and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course,
that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.
Here, the 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed
forward. The music started again.. The Soldiers continued to quietly
stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped. What
would you expect to happen? Even here I would imagine laughter as everyone
sat down and expected the movie to start.
Here, you could have heard a pin drop. Every Soldier stood at
attention. Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the
room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers. "And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq. I wanted you to
know what kind of Soldiers are serving you here.
Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins on 5/14/07. LSA Anaconda is at the
Balad Airport in Iraq, north of Baghdad
All I can say is God Bless our Armed Forces. They are without a doubt the best caliber of soldiers, seamen, marines, and airmen in the world.