Did you ever say anything really stupid? Like, imagine this young woman in this photo as she walked up the jetway in Chicago. "Where are going?" I asked. "Afghanistan." "Ooh," I replied with concern in my voice." I sort of recovered with a heart felt, "Thank you." She said "You're welcome," and we parted. The exchange has haunted me since that moment in Chicago. These brave soldiers heading off to Afghanistan, and my last words to one of them was one of impending danger.
So, my penance...an hour of googling to figure out who these fine men and women in uniform were. I was hoping I'd remember the unit patch, instead I found her face, their faces. I'll find their address now, and this time I'll chose my words much more carefully as I write one letter to Specialist Ashley Richardson, and a second to the commander. They're brave, they deserve to know it, and they deserve more from me. As I read their story I realized that while I was being inspired by General Colin Powell (Ret.) at Greenbuild 2010, they're following another general.
So to all of you who serve or support the 1982nd Forward Surgical Team from Niagara County, NY, from a former Infantry LRRP, God bless you...HOOAH!