When the music stopped
October 07, 2012The following story was reported in the Veteran's Network. It is attributed to Army Reserve Chaplain Jim Higgins who, when he is not deployed, is Senior Pastor of McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church, located in Powder Springs, Georgia:
I recently attended a showing of 'Superman 3,' here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem the music stopped. Click here to go to the original.
Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments; and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place. Here, the 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again. The Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect to happen?
Even here I would imagine laughter, as everyone finally sat down and expected the movie to start. But here, you could have heard a pin drop. Every Soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly there was a lone voice , then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off: ' And the rockets red glare, The bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night That our flag was still there. Oh, say d does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free, And the home of the brave.'
It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq. I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you here. Remember them as they fight for you! Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. For many have already paid the ultimate price.
Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins
LSA Anaconda is at the Ballad Airport in Iraq, north of Baghdad
I will offer not further comment. The article speaks for itself. George Schryer
SMSgt George Schryer (ret.) is a 24-year Air Force veteran. He served as a B-52 tailgunner (see insert on the masthead) in Vietnam. Tailgunners were trained to not only protect the plane from the rear from enemy fighters but to also assist other B-52's following in a formation that might have experienced difficulty with their radar in locating the target. The tailgunner in the forward plane would use his radar to locate the target and then signal to the following plane where to drop its bomb load. The technique was called "The Bonus Deal." George and his wife Gail have lived in Beaufort County for the last 17 years and since his 'second' retirement from Grady White Boats in 2006 after 12 years there. He is a life-member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, currently serving as the Chief of Staff for the Commander of VFW District 2. George will be offering information for veterans and their families and commenting on issues he believes are important to all of us. He speaks for himself and not the Air Force, VFW or anyone other than himself. We thank George for providing this "Bonus Deal" to the veterans and their families in our readership. You can contact George at: firstname.lastname@example.org