Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fallen Comrade

Don't know if there is some unwritten rule about sharing this, but I think people back home ought to know about Fallen Comrade ceremonies. I read that HBO captured the journey of a fallen soldier in a new drama starring Kevin Bacon, titled Taking Chance. The movie premiers February 21, 2009.

For me, it has been an emotional, surreal experience; to take part in a Fallen Comrade ceremony at the airfield I'm deployed at. After transportation is arranged, an alert is sent throughout the base, notifying us of the upcoming ceremony. At the appointed hour, thousands of soldiers, and others paying their respects, line the route. We quietly wait, knowing what is to pass before us. As the fallen soldier’s motorcade passes, all arms crisply salute and the silence that follows is haunting. We disperse, with thoughts of what his/her family must be going through playing through our minds. I am honored, humbled, and reminded of the realities of war; able to pay my respects prior to a soldier’s journey home. I thank God though, that this is not a daily occurrence.

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