Veterans Day

Discussion in 'Outdoor Adventures' started by TDawgNOk, Nov 14, 2005.

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  1. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

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    Every Veterans Day I think back to when I was in Boy Scouts. I was in a large Troop with almost 200 boys in it. We had a LOT of adults that were Assistant Scoutmasters. In 1989, we loaded 3 charter busses full of boys, a Suburban and a Van full of Men, and headed to the National Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. While on the trip, we went to Washinton D.C. We visited the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, and several other sites of interest. There were 3 that made their mark on me that I will NEVER forget.

    The First.
    The first night we were in Washington we went to see the Iwo Jima Memorial. When we got there, it was still light outside. All of the boys gathered, seated on the ground in front of the statue, and 3 of our adult leaders got up in front of us, and explained what the statue was, and what it meant to them. Each of them had served time in the Marines. One of the adults, tears flowing freely pointed to one of the men on the statue and said, "That was my dad's best friend". Now for you to fully understand how MOVING this was, this man was the "toughest" man in our Troop. He was rock solid, and to see him crying freely, was a shock. After the men spoke, we all got up, and wandered around the site looking around. We then got together for a picture. We took a picture of all 150 boys, the statue behind them, behind the statue the city of Washington D.C., with the blue, red, purple sky of a beautiful sunset as the back drop.

    The Second.
    One of the Adults on the trip was my dad. I had known for a long time that he had served in Viet Nam, but he hadn't said very much about it other than he was there. When we went to the Viet Nam Wall, we once again, sat down, and had some of the adults talk to us, and explain what we were about to see. One of those men was my dad, another was a close friend of our family. We then walked to the wall site, and I stayed near my dad, in awe of what he had told us, as he had never spoken of the war before. We were walking down the wall, and he got to a certain section and stopped. He came to attention, and it took him a full 2 mins to turn and look at the wall. His hand reached out and touched a name on the wall. At that point, I saw my father cry for the first time in my life. He broke down, and sobbed for 5 mins.
    I found out later, that it was the name of his best friend from growing up. They had joined together, and were together in Viet Nam, and he had traded truck routes with my dad, the day that he died.

    The Third.
    Arlington National Cemetary.
    We walked in and saw row after row of white headstones and American flags. Our scoutmaster sat us all down, and talked about the History of Arlington, and of some of the people burried there. He talked about his Dad, who had died durring the Korean war. We were then blessed to have a young man come up and talk to us about the Tomb of the unknown soldier. He explained that he was off duty, but that he was one of men who guards it. He told us about the history of guarding it, and what an honor it was to him to do so. Then he led us to the tomb to watch the changing of the guard. It was very solemn, and very spiritual. You could FEEL the history all around you. It was almost as if all the veterans of the past were there, guarding it too. I stood there, and watched every last one of the men that were with us, tear up. When it was over, we stood together, hands joined as a troop, and said the Lord's Prayer.

    I thank GOD every day for our Veteran's.
     
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