Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ultimate Sacrifice

I keep getting these great emails, let me know if they've come around too many times.

Last week while traveling to Chicago in business, I noticed a Marine sargent traving with a folded flag but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sargent, who had been invited to sit in first class (and was seated accross from me) and inquired if he was going home. "No" he responded. "Heading out?" I asked. "No, I'm escorting a soldier home." "Going to pick him up?"

"No, he is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq. I'm escorting him home to his family."

The realization of what he'd been asked to do hit me like a punch in the gut.It was an honor for him, he told me that,although he didn’t know the soldier,he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier’s family and felt as if he did know them after so many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, “Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight.He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door [so as to] allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign.” Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American. So here’s a public thank-you to our military for doing what you do so we can live the way we do. Stuart Margel, Washington, D.C.
Here are two pictures that were awarded first and second place at the picture of the year international thisyear. Very very touching photos.

First Place
Tom Hiesler, Rocky Mountain News

Second place
Tom Hiesler, Rocky Mountain News

The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."


Blogger Brooke said...


May 19, 2006  
Blogger kevin said...

I know I've seen this before, but it bears repeating.

May 21, 2006  

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