Saturday, December 15, 2007

Our Evening

Gunner and I had a great time at the ball. (I'll see if I can put a picture of the two of us up after I have cropped and fixed me!) We have been to several before, including one with this unit, but they are always a little bit different. The grog was extremely potent and the glass still smelled like peppermint this morning. Neat tradition.

When they had the posting of the colors and all those Soldiers looking sharp in their uniforms, standing at attention, and turning and following the flag as it made its way across the room, I was filled with pride. Pride to be in a room with so many men (infantry/armor unit) that wore the uniform and did their job. Pride at the friends and family members that stood by their sides and supported them. Pride. Love. Admiration.

During the toasts they gave a silent one to the Fallen Soldiers from the last deployment after giving the history of the table setup for them.

They read the names of those that were lost in the past year and it was emotional hearing their names again and also hearing their buddies and fellow Soldiers call out a response/reaction/nickname. Each part of the table had some symbolism. The slice of lemon was to remind us of their bitter fate. The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families. The chair is empty, they are not here. The inverted glass--they cannot toast with us this night. This part of the ceremony was extremely hard for everyone.

Bob Babcock was the guest speaker of the night. For the last two deployments of 4th ID, he has put out an email update containing news articles, stories, what others are hearing from their Soldiers, and providing support for the families left behind. The first deployment he put out an update every day and was a wealth of information to a new situation for many. The second deployment he put out updates three times a week and continued to be a source of information to those left behind. This time, as we begin our third rotation to Iraq, he has started the updates again. With three small children I don't often have the time every day to read the paper or dig through the news reports to find information that pertains to Gunner and others that he serves with.

Mr. Babcock also founded Americans Remembered, Inc. This organization "focuses on preserving memories of America's veterans via videotaped interviews" as part of the Library of Congress, Veterans History Project. If you go to the Veterans History Project page, you can listen to interviews of Soldiers--take the time to listen, help, whatever you can do.

After the toasts, the grog, dinner, the video, the speaker and a few dances (not us, we weren't born with any rhythm), we headed out the door. What should every couple do at 11 at night all dressed up??? We had to go to Walmart and get diapers for Junior because we were down to grabbing them out of the diaper bag so my mom would be covered while we were gone. We definitely stood out in Walmart, but got lots of compliments on our attire.

We returned home to a house still standing, children all nestled in bed and a tired Grandma ready to return home. Thanks mom for the babysitting and thanks Gunner for the memories.


Uncle Dan said...

Have a good night and God Bless All. We also read Bob's reports and I consider him a friend as we have corresponded about several things over and above the military.

Gypsy at heart said...

Happy you could have a night of elegance and relaxation in your busy, busy schedule.

Gunner said...
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