Monday, June 14, 2010

More Patriotic Pride

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.


Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

Great story Paula. I can picture it in my mind and it's very moving!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

When I taught at Ft. Campbell I was fortunate enough to get to know some very special military families...I taught there for 6 years, so I was right there on the front lines so to speak with children whose dads and moms were deployed and sadly a few times when a parent was killed. I heard many conversations between children like the one you students were so proud and could even tell you the kind of helicopters their dads flew. "My dad flies Chinooks; what does your dad do?" :)
I so looked up to the moms who held it all together somehow...trying to go on with normal life as much as possible while still missing the men they loved.

JG said...

Very moving. We don't live on post so moments like these are few and far-between in our lives. It's always a tug on the heartstrings, though!