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Friday, May 22nd 2009

11:11 (3069 days, 16h, 20min ago)

Memorial Day is EVERY Day ... at ..the Pentagon

  • Name: Andi Grant
  • Anything you want to add: Thank you for supporting our troops!

FRIENDS...PLEASE...Do me one favor this weekend? After you get back from buying your treasure marked at 60% off...or...when you return home from your barbecue party ... or before you go enjoy your nice 4-day holiday ... Can you please read this blog?

By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY Over the last 12 months, 1,042 soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel have given their lives in the terrible duty that is war. Thousands more have come home on stretchers, horribly wounded and facing months or years in military hospitals.

Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who recently completed a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq and is now back at the Pentagon.

Here is his story:

There is a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Web log of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Web site.

"It is 110 yards from the "E" ring to the "A" ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here.

This hallway, more than any other, is the 'Army' hallway. The G3 (Operations) offices line one side, G2 (Intelligence) the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew.

Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area.

"10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring.  That is the outer most of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building.  This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.

          "A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence.  He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating.  By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.

"Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier.  Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different.  The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden … yet.

"Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment.  We have all been there now. The soldier's chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel.

              "Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.

"11:00 hours: Twenty-four minutes of steady applause.  My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head.  My hands hurt.  Please! Shut up and clap. 

For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway - 20, 25, 30. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts.

They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals.  Some are wheeled along.  Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience.  Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade.  More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly.

"There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband's wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid- 20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son's behalf. 

"No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks.  An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see.  A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.

"These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home.  This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than six years."

Did you know that?

The media hasn't yet told the story.  And probably never will.
God bless our troops and thank you for reading this. 

There will be more to follow ....


Andi Grant
Give2TheTroops President and Founder


Posted by pam mccullough:

Thank you for your service to our troops, thank you for your sacrifice and thank you so much for that story. I'm forwarding it now to my friends and family still serving our country. May God bless you and keep you.
Friday, May 22nd 2009 @ 12:39 (3069 days, 14h, 52min ago)

Posted by Carol Kana:

What a fitting way to start the Memorial Day weekend. Once again, the media will never show the pride and bravery of our troops. I hope that this loving tribute circulates around the world.
Friday, May 22nd 2009 @ 12:49 (3069 days, 14h, 42min ago)

Posted by Georgia Lowery:

Thank you and God bless you for all you do. I am sending this link to all my friends, and hopefully someone, somewhere with the ability to do something will be able to make sure this is aired so all Americans can know.
Sunday, August 2nd 2009 @ 15:12 (2997 days, 12h, 19min ago)

Posted by Edrena F Anderson:

I am overwhelmed and my heart is so full after coming upon and reading this story. This has been going on for SIX years, but this is my first time reading it, unfortunately, because I'd never been blessed to have linked to this site and for some reason it's not being published in a manner for others to know of this. I got here from the site "Let's Say Thanks", which has a link to "Give2TheTroops".

Why is this story not being written and spoken of by mainstream media, such as CNN and other widely viewed TV stations? Why are our REAL heroes not being fully recognized? ALL of America should be made aware of this. We need to honor those who deserve honor--our men and woman who are making such great sacrifices. I feel this is a disservice to our men and women who are keeping America safe.

With tears of gratitude and a heart full of thanksgiving for your awesome sacrifices for America, I salute each and every one of you. I love my Military as family, and I pray for you every night and every morning right along with my prayers for my biological family and my friends. God bless you. We love you. I pray for the day when all our men and women are back on American soil. God bless you. To try to speak on your sacrifices is difficult as, really, there just are no words eloquent or adequate enough to really express it. I'll just say THANKS! God bless you, and for those who have returned to American soil: WELCOME BACK HOME SOLDIER, MARINE, SAILOR, AIRMAN, ALL OF YOU!
Tuesday, November 24th 2009 @ 19:19 (2883 days, 7h, 12min ago)

Posted by Carol Wolf:

Again, this is my first time reading this story, and I am just overwhelmed with what is happening ... thank you, Andi Grant, and all others, for keeping this message alive. :) I will pass this message on through my "facebook" friends in the hope that others will also feel the compassion I have at this moment for our heroes!
Saturday, December 12th 2009 @ 9:11 (2865 days, 17h, 20min ago)

Posted by TERRI SMITH:

May you all know you are in our prayers at night and day to always be safe from harm. Ones that are in hospitals or out know we pray for a fast and speedy recover of pain. If I was their you'd get a big hug and a kiss, just to let you know I DO CARE. With all my love, Terri Smith:)
Saturday, February 27th 2010 @ 16:19 (2788 days, 10h, 12min ago)

Posted by jay harris csm ret.:

T H A N K Y O U ALL!!;);)
Sunday, March 7th 2010 @ 19:09 (2780 days, 7h, 22min ago)

Posted by Bill Kettle:

You do a great job on this organization. I think many of us are thanking you for doing such a great job.
Thursday, March 25th 2010 @ 15:41 (2762 days, 11h, 50min ago)

Posted by Sarah Moniz:

Thank you so much for all the work that you do, it is truly amazing. Thanks!!:)
Saturday, April 17th 2010 @ 13:48 (2739 days, 13h, 43min ago)

Posted by Glenn Gerring:

Outstanding! Lcpl. USMC 1969-1971
Tuesday, April 20th 2010 @ 18:02 (2736 days, 9h, 29min ago)

Posted by Jessy Charlson:

Great story about the troops in Iraq, very interesting to read
Friday, June 25th 2010 @ 7:57 (2670 days, 19h, 34min ago)

Posted by Ken:

Thank you and God bless you for all you do. I am sending this link to all my friends, and hopefully someone, somewhere with the ability to do something will be able to make sure this is aired so all Americans can know.
Wednesday, July 14th 2010 @ 11:24 (2651 days, 16h, 7min ago)

Posted by Terri Klocinski:

I wasn't aware of your organization until I found the link on the Give Thanks site. You are doing a wonderful job of helping our soldiers. Thank you for posting this story.
Sunday, December 5th 2010 @ 13:21 (2507 days, 13h, 10min ago)

Posted by Connie:

Thank you to all the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces. Each day many of them lay their lives on the line for my freedom. Thank you seems so inadequate.

I ride with the Patriot Guard Riders. I never miss an opportunity to thank our men/women in person.
Sunday, December 5th 2010 @ 19:23 (2507 days, 7h, 9min ago)

Posted by Val:

I, too, am just reading about this for the first time. I am touched and moved and sit here with tears streaming down as I read this. Our troops, past, present, and future are the reason our country is so great. They are all true heroes and this should be all over the news. Thank you and God Bless each and every one of you for your service. I will forward this to all of my friends. God Bless!

Sunday, December 12th 2010 @ 7:25 (2500 days, 19h, 6min ago)

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