Memories of Bagram
At this time of year, my thoughts always return to Afghanistan. I was deployed to Bagram in 2010, which, at the time, was the busiest DoD air base in the world. To the southwest, my son was plying his trade as a Marine scout/sniper in the Musa Q'aleh region. I won't go into detail, but his skills were gainfully employed in that part of the country--very gainfully employed. The night we left Bagram stands out in my mind; January 13th, one day after my birthday. To think I would have celebrated my fiftieth in Afghanistan would never have occurred to me. That night was bittersweet; knowing I was going home, but leaving with the thought that my youngest son still had another two months to go. Night had fallen, and for the first time that winter, snow began to fall. We watched it drifting down around the big light towers that lined the air field. The area around the pax terminal was something of a soggy mess. Not long after, the pax representative--my wingman, Dave, who still had a few more weeks there--led our group out to the edge of the ramp. We waited with our battle rattle and personal gear, eyeing the C-17 Globemaster parked out on Sierra. What happened next put the postscript on my time in Afghanistan. Four Humvees rolled in front of us, making the turn from Charlie ramp toward some aircraft waiting beyond ours. In the back of each was a flag-draped transfer case. To this day, I'm very proud of what Dave did; he called us all to attention, and we paid our respects as those four fallen warriors slowly edged past. I'm not ashamed to admit, that even now there's a little moisture in my eyes as I write this. I generally avoid commentary in my blog, choosing instead to use it to build up my readers and promote my books. But given the current climate, I think it's time I weighed in on a few things. The president (lower case 'p') and his administration have done an abysmally poor job of supporting our men and women in uniform. One example that comes to mind is a few years back, when Michelle and Dr. Jill appeared in TV ads proclaiming how they were going to lead the effort in championing our troops. That was the same day that my son was told his pay would be delayed by two weeks, due to some financial crisis ginned up by the teleprompter-in-chief's staff. What's just as bad is the way the fourth estate has shielded the White House and protected the president by obscuring the facts, or simply ignoring them. The media once held a sacred trust, but not anymore. It would appear that American 'journalists' are, for the most part, a lazy bunch. In effect, they're acting as the public affairs branch for the administration, shaping the news instead of reporting it. And I can think of no better example of this than a certain liberal newspaper right here in Tampa Bay. They've abandoned the truth for the kool-aid, shilling for Obamacare and spinning the facts to suit their agenda. So much for journalistic integrity. I think of those four flags, and the sacrifices made by the troops that were shrouded by them. My devotions this morning help to put their loss into perspective. 1 Corinthians 15: "52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.54. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Semper Fi.