FLOYD INGRAM: Memorial Day memories

CJ-0402-COL-Floyd-1C-MUGI hung an American Flag up at my house Monday.

It will stay up 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.

Yes, I was a Boy Scout. And, yes I know flags are to be taken down at dusk and raised every morning at dawn – unless artificially lighted at night.

I once pointed out this bit of American Flag etiquette to my daddy about the flag at our house.

My daddy was career military. Air Force all the way. He flew on heavy bombers in Europe and then B-29s in the Pacific. He performed maintenance on multi-engine aircraft in Korea, Vietnam and anywhere else Uncle Sam sent him.

He paused as he considered the conversation of his teenage boy.

“There will be men somewhere in this world serving under this flag while you sleep tonight, son,” he said looking at me, but thinking about somewhere else. “Let’s keep it up to remind everybody of them.”

 

War in Afghanistan

I watched President Obama once again say the war in Afghanistan is winding down and our job there is almost finished.

The very next day I heard from a former youth minister of mine who is now an Army chaplain that he is slated for a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.

Who do you think I believe?

I am pleased that fighting in Afghanistan is winding down and Chickasaw County troops will soon be coming home. I think we will all agree not everyone around the world has gotten the news.

But regardless of your views on the war, I think we all agree we are blessed to have those who are willing to put on a uniform, pick up a weapon and vow to keep us safe.

There are more than 30,000 U.S. Military personnel getting combat pay in a country called South Korea. We have five times that many serving in Europe and thousands more in such wonderful locations as Thule, Greenland and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

Yes, Afghanistan may be winding down, but it won’t be long until some power-drunk dictator or crazy terrorist will decide he wants to pick a fight with the biggest guy in the bar.

And once again the rest of the world will cower and whine in righteous indignation as we send in the best warriors on the face of this planet to kick butt and take names.

 

Let us never forget

The news shifted away from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan years ago. The economy, politics and Dancing With The Stars have the eye of the American public now.

A check of the Pentagon’s website on Friday revealed we have 1,477,896 men and women on active duty with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. We have another 1,458,500 reserve personnel in hometowns across this great country, including many in North Mississippi.

We have all seen people pray for our troops during the past decade. We have all seen the surge in patriotism ebb and flow during that time.

Regardless of your politics, religion or personal beliefs, I hope you won’t ever forget the men and women who are serving your country at this very moment.

I hope we will continue to pray for the safety of those wearing our uniform.

I’m going to keep my flag up day and night. I’m going to leave it out rain or shine, hot or cold.

When it gets a little torn and tattered I will try to remember there are those serving us in a torn and tattered part of the world.

You see, I want to remember. I want to remember they are doing it for me.

 

Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be reached at 456-3771 or via email at floyd.ingram@journalinc.com

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