14 June 2010

My Flag Day....

From the Soldier side: It’s Flag Day (in the USA for my readers in other countries)

There are some special days when many folks put up the American Flag. I know some who fly theirs every single day. I regret that if I left mine up all the time, some delinquent would steal It.—which should be a special sort of crime I think.

I’ll ask both the Vets who read this and others, what does the Flag mean to you. I know I have folks from other countries reading, so I’ll ask you the same question. Your country’s flag should mean something to you. (I have a flag from each country I’ve “visited” out of a matter of respect for that country, but I only fly one outside my home.) If you live in some really screwed up country, maybe you don’t care about your flag. Sorry about your luck. (It's funny, I've been to some countries that have no runny water, but they have internet and cell phones.) 
Have a beer for the Army's Birthday!

When I was about 19 years old…a young Private First Class in the US Army in the famous Berlin Brigade – Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry C/2/6, we’d have to pull some kind of guard duty every few months.  Life was: Go to the field, go to training, go to guard duty, then go to the field, then go to training, then go on guard duty...repeat.
One type of guard duty we had was called “Brigade Guard”. This was guarding the Brigade Headquarters and special ammo points. This was mostly for show, but we took it serious because our sergeants wouldn’t let it be any other way. We were not really concerned about what anybody else thought, but we wanted to impress our sergeants—we had to since we looked up to them as some kind of Gods or something. After all, they were all Viet Nam Vets.

This type of guard duty required that we have two types of uniforms ready. The Army “Class A’s” with all your awards and stuff (I think I had one ribbon back then) and the old OD Green Fatigues. The Class A’s were worn with jump boots tucked into the pants –“bloused.” The Fatigues were highly starched and pressed--- like cardboard. We were inspected before each guard mount and if we weren’t perfect, the sergeant would send us back to our room to correct the problem.

The jump boots were highly polished, so shiny, that they looked like glass when we were done. Just to help them shine a little bit better, we’d put a little Glo-Coat floor wax on them. Man what a shine. Good thing we didn’t have to kick anybody’s ass, or the shine would have cracked off.
I figured the first time I was going on Brigade Guard that I’d get stuck on the ammo point. After all, I was the new guy just out of AIT (Advanced Idiot Training).

The Platoon Sergeant looked at me, asked me some questions about my “General Orders” and such. Then he told me to put on my Class A’s…I was going to be on the Flag Detail.

This elicited a bit of bitching from some of those who’d been there longer than me. This was an honor…and the best detail. All we had to do was raise the flags in the morning and take them down in the afternoon. We didn’t have to rotate on and off a 4 hour guard post every 8 hours. Cool!

I don’t know why, but every time I stood by the Berlin Brigade flag pole and raised or lowered the flags each day, I felt something special.
Keep that weapon pointed down range!!!

OK, don’t tell anybody I got all warm and fuzzy, it’d ruin my image.



Kristina Divine said...

Didn't that chair and bullhorn come with coffee? Or are you yelling at the Private who forgot it?

I have never had a lot to believe in, but believe in the ideals set forth by our founding fathers and fought for by so many today. I believe in the American Flag as a living breathing entity that needs to be protected and respected.

Anonymous said...

1. Got picked a fair amount for ceremonial details because:
a. Had learned all that stuff in Jr. ROTC
b. Could be trusted not to screw up
c. Usually showed and did what I was told to (except for the mouth)
2. Coming back inside the wire and seeing the 3x5 flag flying in front of the 1st Sgt's tent did it for me.
3. Have taken down a couple of decrepit or improperly displayed flags and explained the situation to their owners.
4. Don't always have the energy to do that, sorry to say.
5. Not a good answer. Need to think about it.
6. Great photo for your lede.
V/R JWest

Anonymous said...

It was a huge flag flying in front of a building, alongside a country road. We drove past it just before the rain began to fall. I was taken back by its powerful wave, and...well, I can't even begin to explain the surge of emotion and meaning it held for me that day. ...we were driving to my brother's graveside service.

Coffeypot said...

I always get the soft and cushy feelings when I see mil types performing colors in the morning and evening. I am very proud of our flag and will gladly do jail time if I see some dick burning her to make a political point.

CI-Roller Dude said...

KD, I was yelling at the New 2nd LT who forgot I wanted my Starbucks coffee black.

Mr. West, I just paid attention and was one of the few at the time who could both read and write.
And if I haven't said it for awhile-- thanks for doing your duty and your service.

Anyom. Seems like flying flags and death or often used in the same sentence.

Coffee...I support everybody's rights...if they want to burn the flag, it's only fair we should be able to express our rights to. I think we should have a right to kick their sorry hippie ass for buring a flag..or give them the option of living in Iran.

And in case I forgot to tell you, thanks for keep the seas safe.

peedee said...

Stopped by from Momma Fargo's place because your comment there made me lmao and spit coffee all over my puter screen. You owe me a new screen btw! j/k.

Anyway, I'm a pretty patriotic person with a kid in the Navy. Just seeing our flag flying makes me happy. Now add to that a ceremony (any kind) with a flag invloved and I'm a blubbering idiot.
I went to a Dolphins game last year near Veterans Day, and they had a ton of active duty Military holding a flag that spanned the whole field. All 100 yards. It was ginormous. Yup I cried.
I think I'm so emotional because so many have died for that flag and the country it stands for. My respect for them is so big its emotional.

Ok, hows that for a long ass comment.
Nice to meet you!

CI-Roller Dude said...

PD, then my job for today is done. (Combat Comic)

I actually learned a few good tricks from the Navy folks who were my security team on one of my missions into Fallujah and further west. They were very good! I took some of their tricks and trained my Baghdad teams. The Navy just seems more organized about some things.

Anonymous said...

Lucky flag.