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 Author  Topic: An Awesome Day!!
  TED WALTHER

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God I am proud and glad to be an American!
Today I travelled up via POV to BWI airport for the first time to represent my command, Expedititionary Combat Readiness Center, and help support Operation Welcome Home which is run mostly by USO volunteers. WHAT A MIND BLOWING DAY!!! It was Great!
When I got up there, I was feeling a little out of place in my dress whites, so here I was feeling like the ice cream man(I don't mean this in a bad way, but for most of my Navy career, I walked through airports in blue jeans, collared shirt, cool guy tactical or New York Yankee ball cap, dark sunglasses, pelican cases, and black backpack. We always travelled in Civvies. So we did not attract attention. The last time I walked through an airport in Uniform was December 29, 1984, when I returned from Boot Camp), but once I got my first "Thank you for your service", I forgot the feeling out of place idea. Part of my tasking for today was to meet and greet troops coming home from Afganistan and Iraq, well there was over 400 of them, and you can just imagine how the flood of emotions just overwhelms you. Just to see old vets from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, who volunteer there time to the USO office at the airport to applaud, cheer, and welcome home these young men and women, it was beautiful. I went to the head of the line and stood next to my Captain and shook all 400 hands and gave them all heartly Welcome Home. Just to see their faces light up and smile as you grab their hand, look into there eyes, and say "Welcome Home"! Well that made my day! What even made it better was I actually knew two of them and I did not even know they were in this group. They were really happy to see an old buddy welcoming them home.
Just as a side note, I went to the USO directors office for some info and believe it or not as I walked in who was I greeted by, but the image of my occasional pen pal who is now on his last patrol...VADM John Duncan Bulkeley!!! On the wall of her office is a large bio write up of his Navy career, a color portrait of him, and a big artists print of Ltjg Harold Sherwood's PT 504 RON 34 (which was then CDR Bulkeley's flag boat on that day)on the Mason Dixon line on June 8, 1944 when the USS Rich hit two mines off Normandy Beach. Like I said what a day! I personally welcomed home 400 of Americas finest, and I got to look into the eyes of 3 old friends today!
God I am proud and glad to be an American!
TED


Total Posts: 2852 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am | IP Logged

  ROSS FISHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of ROSS FISHER  Posted on: May 8, 2009 - 5:27pm
TED,
I THINK I SPEAK ON BEHALF OF MANY PEOPLE ON THE MESSAGE BOARD WHEN I SAY THANKS FOR THE "MEET AND GREET" YOU DID WITH THE 400 RETURNING VETS. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A GREAT EXPERIENCE.
DURING WWII, THE NATION HAD 130 MILLION PEOPLE WITH 16 MILLION MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM. TODAY WITH A POPULATION OF OVER 300 MILLION, WE HAVE AN ARMED FORCES OF NO MORE THAN 1.6 MILLION TO TRY AND COVER THE PLANET. IMAGINE IF WE HAD ANYWHERE NEAR THE NATIONAL COMMITTMENT WE HAD 60 YEARS AGO. I REALIZE IT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT TIME BUT STILL...
WHILE I'M VENTING, I'M WEARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THEIR WILLINGNESS TO GIVE IN TO THE PIRATES OF SOMALIA. EVERYBODY JUST PAYS THE RANSOM AND WRINGS THEIR HANDS, "SAYING NOTHING CAN BE DONE..".
PICTURE IF YOU WILL, WHAT ADM. JOHN BULKELEY WOULD REPLY TO THAT...
ONCE AGAIN, THANKS FOR A JOB WELL DONE.

ROSS FISHER

ross@dupagels.lib.il.us

Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 23, 2008 - 10:03am | IP Logged


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