Saturday, March 18, 2006

4000 MORE SOLDIERS HEADED TO IRAQ

Family members, state and local leaders honored more than 4,000 Soldiers of the 1-34th Minnesota National Guard Brigade Combat Team (BCT) with a departure ceremony at Camp Shelby yesterday at 2 p.m. March 16, 2006. The 1-34th BCT is comprised of Soldiers from Minnesota, Iowa, New Jersey, Nebraska, Kentucky and Kansas.

Today I headed out bright and early for my Saturday running around. My list was long, and I was knew that it would take me the better part of the day to accomplish everything on my list.

When I walked into Circuit City, I had one thing on my mind, and that was looking for Bose speakers for my Ipod, until I looked up and all I could see were soldiers everywhere. No hotel rooms in Hattiesburg, so most of them were staying in Jackson.

I immediately started up a conversation with one of them, and he was from Iowa. I ask him if he was on his way to Iraq, and his response was yes mam. We talked a few more minutes, I thanked him for serving his country, and I noticed that he had a video game in his hand, and he kept looking down at it. I ask if he had any family that came down for the ceremony, and he said that his mom was in Iowa, and was too sick to travel. I did not pry, but he told me that he was an only child, and it was just him and his mom. He says that he joined the National Guard so that he could get an education, since his mom was on disability. He kindly said to me that he had kept me long enough, and then thanked me for thanking him.

As this soldier walked towards the cash register, I turned away and immediately started thinking about the days just before Michael left. My heart ached for this young soldier. I turned back around, and he was at the register. I think I shocked everyone in the line, when I walked past them all told the cashier that I was going to pay for the soldiers purchase. He just looked at me and smiled, and says no mam, you can't do that. Well, I won that argument. Then the man that was behind him in line told him that he wanted him to go back and pick out another game, and that one was on him. It was great.

I told this young soldier good-bye, and gave him my email address and phone number, and let him know that if he needed anything at all, to please let me know. I walked away with tears in my eyes. It was like I was sending Michael all over again.

I finished up my shopping, and was in line inbetween two other soldiers and their wives. The thoughts that were going through my head at this time were those days right before Michael left, and all the date changes that we went through. They were not giving these soldiers a specific leave date they said. Talk about heart breaking. The soldier in front of me in the line, his wife was in a wheelchair, and the one behind me, his wife was 7 months pregnant (with a little boy). My heart goes out to all the soldiers, but I have to tell you, today my heart ached for these three families. We chatted for a few more minutes, and I wished them luck and told them thanks. I found myself giving the wives all kinds of advise, and of course the soldiers too, especially the younger one. CALL HOME OFTEN, was my advise to him, and I told his wife, to MAIL AS MANY CARE PACKAGES AND PICTURES AS POSSIBLE.

An emotional shopping experience for me today.

14 comments:

yankeemom said...

How wonderful of you! My eyes are tearing up too. Dang, they all make me so proud ~

Beth said...

what a wonderful post! This made me cry.

[ not at the blogger acct anymore - http://www.bluestarchronicles.com ]

JACK ARMY said...

You know, us Soldiers keep America free, but it is people like you that make it great. Thank you.

Crazy Politico said...

Stacy, you once again have a grown man in tears. Everytime one of your posts does that though I remember that we do have a lot of outstanding folks around, who care about the kids we are sending to Iraq.

Thanks for being awesome!

~K said...

Your a Beautiful Person Stacy. I love your heart.
Guess we both had emotional Saturdays.....

Melinda said...

Okay. Bawling now. Truly. I kept thinking "give him your addy!! give him your addy!!" LOL
Hope he finds his way to soldiers angels as we'd love to have him, wouldn't we, Stacy???

Oh my gosh. I'd be so overcome.

So glad you went shopping!!

Some Soldier's Mom said...

so glad you went shopping, too. I'm not sure I would have been able to get through the store without hugging every dang soldier in it! Thanks from me!

dyzgoneby said...

You did good "some soldier's mom."

The generousity you have shown to those, reflects on the person you are. They will remember that moment in time and cherish it. The world needs more caring people like you.

Thank you,
A Proud Marine Fiance

BetsyB. said...

Whew, I can hardly type this through the tears..
I find myself wanting to say something to EVERY SOLDIER...The look on their faces is the same as my son's and yours before they left for Iraq. I want to somehow protect them and take away their fears and tears.

Stacy, Thank you for your generous heart.

Call Me Grandma said...

Very emotional. I remember the feelings so well. I remember the prayers I said as our guys walked onto that field for the send off ceremony. I asked God to let evryone of them return home safe and sound. But what laid ahead of them was unknown.
We have about 6 weeks left to Dan's deployment and it feels like it has been a lifetime since he left.
My heart goes out to all those soldiers.
I know how it touched your heart because you know exactly what they are feeling.
God Bless you Stacy you are a special lady and I know that first hand.
May God Bless those soldiers and may God keep them all safe.

Andi said...

Stacy - what a great thing you did. That soldier will never forget your kindness. Let us know if you hear back from him and maybe we can all send him care packages.

southerngirlpls said...

Ok, this Angel is crying now...Good Job! You are one awesome lady!

momsgoneloony said...

That is awesome! You are such a good person, and I hope you tell all the soldiers you run into that they have an Internet family of thousands praying and supporting them!

Erik Holtan said...

Next time I get deployed, I am coming to Mississippi first!
Thanks for supporting OUR midwestern brethren. We are all one, but as you know, when your soldiers from that area were gone, how much it affects us!



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