I had another one of those moments today that brought a proud tear to my eye. My husband and I were at the small PX (post exchange, which is like a little grocery store/convenience store) picking up a gift to take to dinner at a friend's house. As we were walking back to the car, we hear the bugle. For my non-military friends, on the Army post you hear the bugle in the morning playing Reveille as the flag is raised, to start the day. At 5:00 PM, Retreat is played as the flag is lowered for the day. At 10:00 PM, Taps is played for quiet time. Protocol states that when you hear the bugle you stop where you are and face the flag.
As we were walking across the parking lot, we hear Retreat. My husband steps over to a ledge around a tree, puts the package down he was carrying, and stands at attention with a salute. I stood behind him and faced the flag too. These things make me tear up.
I was reminded of an FRG (Family Readiness Group) meeting I attended shortly after our Soldiers deployed to Iraq. It was held at one of the families' homes on post and was a potluck. We stood in the front yard of her home, visited and waited to eat. There was a big tree in the yard that a few of the little boys were playing in. At 5:00, we heard the bugle. Retreat was being played. Those little boys jumped down from that tree, faced the direction of the flag and popped off their own salute. Now THAT will bring a tear. A little later, those same boys playing in the tree were speaking of their fathers. I heard one say, "My dad is an engineer, is yours?" The other boy answered, "yes, he's an engineer Soldier too." They had no idea their daddies were serving in the same unit across the world.
When you remember our Heroes serving this country, remember the children who stand proudly at the bugle call and show their pride and patriotism. Remember the wives and husbands left to be single parents and manage to juggle it all and raise beautiful, respectful children. It does my heart good.