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spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Copied from an e-mail I just received; I thought some of you would appreciate it:

The Third Infantry Regiment at Fort Myer has the responsibility for providing ceremonial units and honor guards for state occasions, White House social functions, public celebrations and interments at Arlington National Cemetery....and standing a very formal sentry watch at the Tombs of the Unknowns. The public is familiar with the precision of what is called "walking post" at the Tombs. There are roped off galleries where visitors can form to observe the troopers and their measured
step and almost mechanical silent rifle shoulder changes. They are relieved every hour in a very formal drill that has to be seen to believe. Some people think that
when the Cemetery is closed to the public in the evening in the evening that
this show stops. First, to the men who who are dedicated to this work...it
is no show...it is a "charge of honor".The formality and precision continues
uninterrupted all night. During the nighttime, the drill of relief and the
measured step of the on duty sentry remain unchanged from the daylight
hours. To these men...these special men, the continuity of this post is
the key to the honor and respect shown to these honored dead, symbolic of all
American unaccounted for American combat dead. The steady rhythmic step in
rain, sleet, snow, hail, hot, cold...bitter cold...uninterrupted...uninterrupted is the important part of the honor shown. Last night, while you were sleeping, the teeth
of hurricane Isabel came through this area and tore hell out of everything... We have
thousands of trees down...power outages...traffic signals out...roads filled with
down limbs and "gear adrift" debris...We have flooding...and the place looks
like it has been the impact area of an off shore bombardment. The Regimental
Commander of the U.S. Third Infantry sent word to the nighttime Sentry
Detail to secure the post and seek shelter from the high winds, to ensure
their personal safety. THEY DISOBEYED THE ORDER...During winds that turned
over vehicles and turned debris into projectiles...the measured step continued. One fellow said "I've got buddies getting shot at in Iraq who would kick my butt if word got to them that we let them down...I'm sure as ---- have no intention of spending my Army career being known as the ------- idiot who couldn't stand a little light breeze and shirked his duty." ....Then he said something in response to a female
reporters question regarding silly purposeless personal risk...."I wouldn't expect you to understand. it's an enlisted man's thing." God Bless the rascal...In a time
in our nation's history when spin and total bullshit seems to have become
the accepted coin-of-the-realm, there beat hearts...the enlisted hearts we
all knew and were so proud to be a part of...that fully understand
that devotion to duty is not a part time occupation. While
we slept, we were represented by some fine men who fully
understood their post orders and proudly went about their assigned responsibilities
unseen, unrecognized and in the finest tradition of the American Enlisted Man.
Folks, there's hope....The gene that George S. Patton...Arliegh
Burke and Jimmy Doolittle left us...survives. Now, go have another cup to pop
rivet your eyelids I've got to go to work. DN

From a subvet friend in our nation's capital~
Nina Swink adds.....
On the ABC evening news, it was reported tonight that, because of the dangers from Hurricane Isabel approaching Washington DC, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They refused. "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an
assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The
tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

Addition to this e: I saw an interview on Fox News Channel with the Commander of the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the unknown. He took the shift when Isabel was unleashing her fury, cause he did not want to ask any of his men to do this - he felt it was his highest honor to be on duty during that time.

Posts: 706
Joined: Jul 2001

Hello Sponge:

I'm not military but wanted to say that I was impressed when I learned that the "guard" had chosen to remain through Isabel's wrath. Our local news had film (at 11, of course) and it was truly touching. Just some good, old fashioned honour, idealism and commitment to a belief system! These are priceless values, and it's wonderful to see them reflected, whether in civilian or military practices. WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW... Hoping others who may not be aware of the story will also see your post.

Love, light and laughter,

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Thanks, Ink -

Have a great day!

- Sponge

Posts: 176
Joined: Mar 2003

SB, just dropped in to see how your new chat was going. I wanted to let you know again how I think this is such a good idea. I read your link and it has moved me to tears. My father and brother were Navy and my X was Air Force so I do know how appreciative they would be and are to know that the Honour Guard is even better the the US mail( you know rain,sleet & snow). Keep up the good work there are alot of people out there you need your help.
I have been telling everyone when I get the chance about this to help you get the word out.
Hugs xoxoxo

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Thanks, Pattie!

You're the best! See you back at the semi-colon meeting place!

- SB