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...every single Friday morning...for four years.
Old 02-01-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
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...every single Friday morning...for four years.

Joe Galloway has turned over his column to a soldier that describes a recurring event that few of us may have heard about. I know that I was not aware of it, and I know folks that work in the Pentagon. My Friday mornings will be forever changed.

10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outer most of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, and hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.
A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age, I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.
Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier.
Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilders, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden. Yet now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier’s chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel. Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.
These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years.

Did you know that? The media hasn’t yet told the story. And probably never will.
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