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Angela D Watkins

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Honoring our men who have given their lives
By Angela D Watkins
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

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Greenberg, Milton L Mr Army G8-FD sharing an email: I want you all to know that simply by coincidence you have been granted both the privilege and honor of escorting the body of Army PFC Howard Johnson, Jr. home tonight.

"Greenberg, Milton L Mr Army G8-FD" Subject: Good morning! Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 07:32:27 -0400 ---Original Message----- From: Sandra Dinkins Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2003 11:51 AM Subject: Honoring our men who have given their lives This was mailed around the office this morning and thought it was appropriate to send out on this Good Friday. This email is from Andy Nelson, an employee with Doster Construction in Montgomery. I want to tell you of an experience I had last night flying home from Atlanta. The pilot came on the intercom and went through the usual announcements telling us that "we're just east of Montgomery cruising at 28,000 feet" and "you've picked a beautiful night for flying, just look at the gorgeous southern sunset out of the right side of the plane". He then, however, said this: "Please bear with me as I deviate from the script, but I want you all to know that simply by coincidence you have been granted both the privilege and honor of escorting the body of Army PFC Howard Johnson, Jr. home tonight. PFC Johnson was killed in Iraq defending the freedoms we all enjoy, and fighting to extend those freedoms to the people of Iraq. We are also accompanied by PFC Johnson's cousin, Marine Major Talley, who has been chosen by the family to escort PFC Johnson home. Semper Fi!" The plane quickly became very quiet, but soon erupted in thunderous applause that lasted for several minutes. It was quite moving, to say the least. As I sat there thinking about what the pilot had said, and visualizing PFC Johnson's dead body riding below me in the belly of that plane, I noticed a couple of things. Two rows in front of me sat a father holding his daughter, an infant, and they were practicing "ma-ma" and in the row behind me was another young boy, probably 2 or so, learning to count to 10. Now obviously both are too young to realize we're at war, or that one of our dead was with us, but it made me think, and this is the point: These warriors, mostly young, all volunteers, everyday are prepared to give their lives for our future, for a safer, more secure future for people they don't even know, all based on the principle that fighting and dying for this country is worth it. You all know and agree with this, but not everyone does, so I would ask that if you meet anyone that's not "on board" with this philosophy, i.e. the protesters to which Bob refers, that you "correct the situation". By the way, the flight ended with all of us deplaning only to line the windows of the gate house to watch PFC Johnson's body, draped in the American flag, be rolled out of the plane and into a waiting hearse that was surrounded by his family members. Please pray that our soldiers' sight is acute, their aim is true , and that as many come home as God can spare. Andy Nelson   

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Reviewed by Myles Saulibio 7/19/2007
I join karla with the same sentiments.
Very moving indeed.
Thank you and God's blessings.
May His Face shine upon us.

Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 4/25/2003
*tears* this really touched my soul...well done, andy! powerfully written! (((HUGS))) and love, karla. :(

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