Why We Do This...

 
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Hill_Mostek_1_web The uninitiated, the people who haven't been there, they don't tend to understand the emotions revolving around an event like this... You have to have been there to understand how far away Home feels. What struck me about today was how easy it is to forget how great it is to have Home all around you, and how little you appreciate it until it’s gone. Today, at American Legion Post 28 in Dumfries, Virginia, a group of people gathered to call attention to the efforts that have gone into giving a little piece of Home back to soldiers who have given up so much of it. You follow this Blog, you are well aware of what Mothax has shepherded together in this project to give back to COP Keating. In three weeks, through the efforts of The American Legion, Target, and others, over $100,000 of funds and materials have been raised to give back to soldiers who lost everything calling fire in on their little piece of Home in a hellish, foreign land. You don’t need me to cite details, names, specifics. This is Mothax’s Baby, and he’s far more qualified than I am to cite to specifics, I’d probably muddle them up anyway. What I can do is tell you how it felt to be a part of that, one soldier to another. I was struck by the fact that this is one of the only times I’d been together with friends from my unit in a venue that wasn’t a wedding or a funeral. This was a heck of a lot better place to be. You don’t have to be a biker to appreciate with awe the spectacle of a line of motorcycles escorting the National Commander and the Undersecretary from the Department of Defense up the drive and onto the Post grounds, that’s always going to stir something inside. The Riders of The American Legion, for my money, fill your heart with as much pride and patriotism as a line of Abrams tanks coming down Constitution Avenue with Norman Schwarzkopf at their head. What I saw, was veterans reaching out to veterans. What I saw, was citizens, in an economy that makes every penny count, digging into their pockets to find more pennies, for the people who had less. When you are a veteran, you can always rely on the training deeply ingrained in your psyche, the training that tells you when it hurts…give more. I went through Landstuhl Germany a little under five years ago with half a duffel full of whatever gear I could scrounge at the last minute, and I was lucky. Every day, service-members are evacuated with little but the clothes on their backs, if that, and make their way in the world with nothing…until people step forward to give back to them. Things like Operation Comfort Warrior help bridge the gap to get them back to stability. Until you have nothing to call your own, you don’t really know how it feels to have someone hand you something and say-it’s okay, take this, it’s yours, you earned it. We’re handing a lot back to these guys. Nothing is ever going to replace what they lost. Nothing could. Nothing will ever give back to them what they’ve given to this country, and for this country. Nothing. However, what was done here is a statement, and I hope it’s one they’re hearing over there. When you’re over there, it’s so isolated, so apart from back here, from Home. When you’re over there, it’s easy to forget that there are people back here, people who you don’t even know, who believe in you, support you, and more than anything appreciate everything you’re sacrificing for them. You don’t know that, you can’t, you don’t have the time to think of anything but your buddies to the left and to the right of you. But you have buddies everywhere back here, people who do remember, people who do go out of their way, dig deep, do what they can, to let you know they have your back. To see it up front, to really see it in the eyes and hearts of the people filling the room and banding together so that their voice in this is heard, that’s more reward than this old soldier could ever ask for. My own personal thanks go out to everyone who has gone so far and worked so hard to pay these service-members back. And to the boys from COP Keating, we know you can’t come Home just yet, but we’re sending as much of Home to you as we can. You will never be forgotten.
Posted in Uncategorized, the burner | 11 comments
 
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Comments

Good stuff bud. Glad I got a chance to spend time with you.
Ever forward!

This web site has brought me back to the fold after a 5 year absence. FINALLY, someone's directly looking out for the troops.

Finally.

This is just another example of what Legionnaires do best -- veterans helping veterans. It is not about me or you, but them -- fellow veterans that we may never meet, but we will always be a fond memory for what we cared enough to do during their time of need.

Priceless!

Thanks MOTHAX for taking the initiative and leading the way.

We do care!

[...] care packages the likes of which most units have never seen. Today I was lucky enough to be at American Legion Post 28 just outside of Quantico Marine Corps Base in Dumfries, VA for the final pack-out of the care [...]

let's not forget the real journey for these COP Keating guys is when they come back... Kudos to The American Legion, and its new outreaching blog... but please continue this journey with them and assist them in the years to come... the $ and the iPods will put a smile on their faces, but your continued support and mentoring will put laughters in their homes...

@ Mothax: I hope we're working on some kind of linkup with these guys when they get back. I would love to be a part of something like that and have the ability to express our gratitude and support.

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/30/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

DEMOPHILIUS

When the 3/61 Cav gets back to Fort Carson, There will be a link up and of course The American Legion Centennial Post 209 will be able to support them in their endeavors. If you would like to be a part of it please contact Post 209 at AmLegion209@base.comcastbiz.net

Adjutant

Beautifully said.

What the Legion did here is absolutely fantastic, but it is not unusual for The American Legion. I remember a couple years ago when the Legion raised about 300 thousand for the wounded troops at Landstuhl. I think everyone ought to let the world know that the "silent VSO" is still in action when our troops need help.

Thanks for writing this, it was very informative and told me tons

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.