Tuesday, April 24, 2007

9 Fallen Soldiers

I am blessed to live near one of the worlds largest military bases. Fort Bragg is located just west of Fayetteville, North Carolina. One of the largest and busiest military complexes in the world, Fort Bragg hosts America's only airborne corps and airborne division, the "Green Berets" of the Special Operations Command, and the Army's largest support command. 82nd Airborne Division soldiers and others make 100,000 parachute jumps each year at Fort Bragg.
By population, Fort Bragg is the largest Army installation in the world, providing a home to almost 10 percent of the Army’s active component forces. Approximately 43,000 military and 8,000 civilian personnel work at Fort Bragg. Every day approximately military and civilian employees in careers ranging from trades and labor to engineers and attorneys provide the services needed to train, sustain, and deploy the combat forces to America's Crisis Response Contingency Corps and Special Operations Forces. Their common daily focus is on training, deploying, mobilizing, and demobilizing America’s strategic response forces and providing first-class services in such areas as retail, recreation, medicine, and education. The Fort provide those services to a customer base of more than 250,000 soldiers, civilians, family members, and retirees. When I hear planes going over I can tell by the sound if they are taking jumpers up. If they are this is what I get to see a few minutes later

William was a jump instructor for the 82nd. He retired after 22 yrs in the army. Though he didn't train these soldiers they are still "his boys".Being a military town everyone is very proud of our soldiers. Whether we know them personally or not they are like part of the family. Without them our town would be nothing. We stop to watch the planes and choppers flying over and sometimes even wave and say a prayer or a thank you. Too many times I hear the planes going overhead that are not taking jumpers up. They are taking soldiers away from their homes and families.Not long ago a plane flew overhead with a unit of soldiers deployed to Iraq. When that plane returns there are 9 soldiers from the 82nd airborne that won't be on it. They were killed yesterday. I know there are many soldiers killed and my heart goes out to their families but these boys were our "family". A few months ago we lost 8 of our boys in Iraq and now we have lost 9 more. They won't be coming home to their wives, children, parents and siblings. They won't be flying over my house to make another jump. I will pray for their families and continue to pray for the soldiers still over there. When I see the jumpers I will think of the fallen soldiers.... I will miss them.


Jonathan Pait said...

Peggy, I plan to post the 82nd Airborne patch on my site each day for the next 30 days in memory of those soldiers. Thanks for your sentiments!


the night owl said...

Hi Peggy,...It is very sad when any of our US soldiers are killed...Our prayers are with you and their families.My father and brother were in the 101st Airborne unit. Baba

Mary said...

Oh Peggy - such a sad day again. Your post is wonderful though and I have just read it to my DH (former US Army in the sixties). Living in NC all these years I'm familiar w/Ft. Bragg and have visited there several times. These soldiers will be missed by so many and in my heart a great heavy sadness will remain for a long, long time.

Marci said...

Peggy, I am so glad that there are people like you out there that don't get into all the ugliness we see in the press about our soldiers. I am glad you take them into your heart and pray for them and their families. My heart goes out to those families. When I heard the news, I just thought... Nine families just lost their Joshua. (that is my son who just turned 23).

Patti said...

My husband and I were friends with many of these soldiers. They were wonderful men - 5/73 CAV - we love you!