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dude1394
02-19-2005, 07:56 PM
I didn't realise that this program was going on. I didn't know whether the super-bowl footage of cheering returning soldiers was true or not but this is. God I love texas. And a hearty shout-out to Atlanta as well!!
defenselike (http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2004/n08272004_2004082709.html)

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2004/2004082709a_hr.jpg

applause (http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/2/102005mf.asp)

Applause in the Airport? Beyond the Beer Commercial ...
It Happens ... It Really Happens

By Matt Friedeman, PhD
February 10, 2005

(AgapePress) - Rick from Winona, Mississippi, called my state-wide talk radio program this week. Sometimes, you get a phone call that ought to be read in the broader market.

On the program that day we were discussing the report that some Europeans were disgusted with the Super Bowl commercial of American soldiers getting applause in an airport. The critics thought it too extreme in its patriotism and a possible incitement to further war.

At any rate, Rick (he asked us not to use his full name) called to talk about his experience coming back recently from the fields of war. His words (and they are worth your time reading, only lightly edited):

"I heard you talking about the Super Bowl commercial. I'm a Marine, a re-con Marine. I just got back from overseas, the second week of December, actually. I was injured overseas, so that's why I'm home now.

"But the whole time I was [there, in recovery] we watched the news to see what's going on. And we saw the protests, and we saw what the media was saying about what's going on, and we were worried about what we were actually going to face when we came home. We didn't know what to expect, to be honest with you. From the news media we were seeing, the whole country was basically telling us we're a bunch of jerks.

"I thank God that the troops that are there don't see the news coverage. I thank God every day, because there'd be ten times the number getting killed, just because it would so un-motivate [sic] them.

"Back to the story: there were seven other soldiers that came home with me that day. We flew into JFK, and we were talking on the way back: What's going to happen? What will we be facing? Is it going to be like the Vietnam era, are there going to be people spitting at us?

"We didn't know. We had that much trepidation about it.

"We get into JFK, we step out of the breezeway into the main terminal, and directly in front of us was an elderly gentleman carrying a bag. And he immediately stopped, set his bag down, and the first thing we all thought was, 'Oh, Lord, here we go already.' He just stopped and looked at us for a second, and then tears came to his eyes and he saluted us.

"And -- I'm breaking up now [editor's note: with tears] -- every one of us just started crying like babies. Everybody in the terminal -- I kid you not, at least two to three hundred people -- just started clapping, spontaneously. To me, it was so much worth what we were doing, to realize that people over here actually get what we were doing. We weren't over there because it's fun. We're over there doing a job.

"When I saw the Super Bowl commercial, I just started bawling like a baby again because that was something totally unexpected. We had no idea that people actually appreciated what we're doing, from what we see on the news. We thought we were going to come back and get eggs thrown at us. It was so refreshing to know that what we were seeing on the news is just a bunch of garbage that's being concocted by the media, that 99.9 percent of the country doesn't believe that way.

"I have a couple of more months of recovery. I got hit with a concussion and have some internal damage, but I'm feeling up, doing well, and hopefully I can get back over there with my boys."

It caused some tears in this talk show host's eyes to know there were tears in his. Appreciation, smiles, handclaps -- they can go a long way when a nation is at war, regardless of what the media and some Europeans might think.

Ninkobei
02-19-2005, 10:29 PM
At ex-work, TGIFridays, an army man came in with his family for a last meal before he went overseas, and the boss gave his entire family a free ride, desert, drinks everything. I like to think that any place they go into they get treated the same way. I bet any negative feedback the media gives to our soldiers represents a very small portion, less than 4% of our country.

dude1394
02-19-2005, 11:13 PM
Great story ninkobei. I'm still looking for the opportunity to thank one of these heroes by the small offer of a meal. Tell your boss that he just bought himself a customer coming to a fridays for their next meal.

Drbio
02-19-2005, 11:49 PM
We have hosted return ceremonies at Baylor and send offs too. Stories like this are common in Waco and Central Texas and I am proud of my fellow central Texans.