Thursday, May 3, 2007

War - a desecration of a precious resource - Man

I am reprinting Ludy Ongkeko's piece which appeared in THE PHILIPPINE NEWS. Tony.

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‘Will you give this to my Daddy?’

Ludy Ongkeko, Apr 25, 2007

Some two weeks ago, one of the well-known national weekly publications called the world’s attention to what it dubbed, “Voices from the Front.” The notes came from America’s warriors addressed to their families which the same publication entitled: “In Their Own Words.”

I cannot begin to describe how I felt as I read portions of missives coming from “those voices of the fallen.” I had to stop. Tears welled. When I continued shortly after, I found myself on the receiving end of “Will you give this to my Daddy?” a first-person piece forwarded to me by a friend of old.

I do not have the vaguest idea who the author is. Considering its impact on those who likewise received it, because it is so apropos, it is my belief that it should be shared with PN readers. Here it is: (The account does not bear the writer’s identity; however unknown that is, I would like to add my congratulations for something so aptly written at this time.)

“Last week, I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference. While I was at the airport, waiting to return home I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen. Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their “camos,” as they began heading to their gate. Everybody (well almost everybody) was abruptly on their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers (probably 30-40 of them) being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I’m not alone! I’m not the only red-blooded American, who still loves this country, and who supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes, who are putting their lives on the line every day for us, so we can go to school, work, church and home without fear of reprisal. Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women, a young girl, no more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He knelt down and said, “Hi.”

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her Daddy for her. The young soldier (he couldn’t be any older than maybe 22 himself) said he would try and what did she want to give him to give to her daddy? Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter’s name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the Mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier’s eyes began to tear up.

When this temporarily single Mom was done explaining the situation, all of a sudden the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. One of the servicemen then pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it. After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, “I spoke with your Daddy, and he told me to give this to you.”

He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek, he finished by saying, “Your Daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home soon.” The Mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably, and when the young soldier got on his feet, he saluted Courtney and her Mom. I was standing no more than six feet away from where this entire event unfolded. As the soldiers began to leave heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause.

As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were no dry eyes, including my own. The young soldier in a last act of selflessness turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.”

The message from the author of the remarkable incident concluded, “We need to remember all of our soldiers and their families every day; and thank God for them, and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it is good being an American.

The first thing a soldier says when asked, “What can we do to make things better for you?” No hesitation from him/her. “We need your support and your prayers” is the reply.

Therefore the American people should continue to pray for the military wherever its units are. We can be proud in stating what we’ve been told over and over again, “We live in the land of the free, only because of the brave:”

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