Friday, March 14, 2008

Support the Troops...

A bumper sticker...a slogan, it normally makes me think, "uh...sure you do. And, how exactly?" I flew to Jordan a week ago and found out how some do, and it was rather touching.

The flight to Jordan took 24 hours and four legs. The first leg landed in New Hampshire where, we were told before disembarking, that there would be a crowd of "Pease Greeters" waiting to see us. I didn't know what that was or who they were, but, when we got off the plane, lining the off ramp were at least two hundred people. Families, VFW types, seeing eye dogs, children, soldiers and others. They cheered and hugged us and waved small flags. They gave us candy and ribbed one another...they were, in many ways, a family themselves. The group came out every time a military flight landed or took off with militant dedication. I saw their schedule which, considering their average age (older) and the fact they were civilians doing this on their free time was rather grueling.

They saluted us (literally) and said a prayer and, as we boarded the plane, they gave us packages of good dark chocolate (which Lindtt chocolate had donated to them), Bose headphones (yes, the nice expensive kind, which had also been donated) and candies and flags. They were there to tell us they supported us. There was no politics, other than to say that it didn't matter what any of us or any of them believed, but that we were all there together to pay our respect to one another.

On the wall were the service flags and emblems (the Army crest had been dedicated by USMA AOG, which I found rather coincidental) and photos of every group which had come through. It was nice for me to see and experience as the odds are slim I will get a similar send off or reception when I do leave in November, and it reminded me that just because something is cliched doesn't mean it isn't true. Some people really do Support Our Troops, bumper stickers or not.


Blogger moville said...

I think that's right...there ARE people who sincerely support soldiers, wish them well, want to do right by them. The people who greeted you are in this mold. We have an overpoliticized view of the current wars that sometimes has us interpreting gestures like that as support for militarism, or President's good to be able to see some nuance.

8:26 AM  

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