Sunday, 11 November 2012
Come In Together . . .
On this Remembrance Day, I would like to share a story with you by a man named Stu Weber. It is entitled, "Come In Together."
We'd been running every day, but this was something else. We;d been sweating from the time we rolled out of the rack before daybreak, now moisture drained from every pore in our bodies. Sure, this was the physical training stage of US Army Ranger School, and we expected exertion. Even exhaustion. But this was no morning PT rah-rah run in T-shirts.
We ran in full field uniform. As usual, the word was "You go out together, you stick together, you work as a unit, and you come in together. If you don't come in together, don't bother to come in!"
Somewhere along the way, through a fog of pain, thirst, and fatigue, my brain registered something strange about our formation. Two rows ahead of me, I noticed one of the guys out of sync.
A big, rawboned redhead named Sanderson. His legs were pumping, but he was out of step with the rest of us. Then his head began to loll from side to side. This guy was struggling. Close to losing it.
Without missing a step, the Ranger on Sanderson's right reached over and took the distressed man's rifle. Now one of the Rangers was packing two weapons. His own, and then Sanderson's. The big redhead did better for a time. But then, while the platoon kept moving, his jaw became slack, his eyes glazed and his legs pumped like pistons. Soon his head began to sway again.
This time, the Ranger on the left reached over, removed Sanderson's helmet, tucked it under his own arm, and continued to run. All systems go. Our boots thudded along the dirt trail in heavy unison. Tromp-tromp-tromp-tromp-tromp-tromp.
Sanderson was hurting. Really hurting. He was buckling, going down. But no. Two soldiers behind him lifted the pack off his back, each taking a shoulder strap in his free hand. Sanderson gathered his remaining strength. Squared his shoulders. And the platoon continued to run. All the way to the finish line.
We left together. We returned together. And all of us were the stronger for it.
Together is better.
On this Remembrance Day 2012, I want all of our Soldiers, whether they be British, or Canadian, or American or from any other of our Allied Troops, serving at home or abroad to know that I appreciate their sacrifice and their time. That I uphold them in prayer each morning when I bow my head and each night when I do it again. As the daughter of a serving father . . . a Military Wife for 22 years, and as the mother of a Soldier, I recognize all that they have ever done and all that they do to serve their countries. I am ever mindful that the freedoms I enjoy today . . . were purchased at a price, I will never forget.
I may not be able to shoulder your weapon for you, or help to carry your pack, but I can lift you up in loving prayers, and I do and always will. I wear my poppy today with pride and remembrance of each and every one of you, both the living and the dead.
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . a delicious Lemon Coconut Layered Cake.