Photo credit: Kate Gardiner
It Is The Soldier
It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
by Charles M. Province, U.S. Army • November 1, 2004
- Recta Ratio has good comments on the day and how our lack of true celebration is a commentary in itself on our culture.
This moving photograph shows Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, superintendent of the 22nd Wing Medical Group at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, holding an injured Iraqi girl. The picture was taken in October 2006, while Sgt. Gebhardt was deployed to Balad Air Base in Iraq. According to the Air Force Print News, the infant girl Sgt. Gebhardt held in his arms "received extensive gunshot injuries to her head when insurgents attacked her family killing both of her parents and many of her siblings."I haven't said it enough because none of us really can but to our veterans as well as those serving now ... thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sgt. Gebhardt is now back home in Wichita, Kansas, with his wife and two children. An Air Force Link article about the sudden fame he gained as the subject of this photograph reported that:
The chief had a knack for comforting [the injured Iraqi girl] and they often would catch a cat nap together in a chair.
"I got as much enjoyment out of it as the baby did," he said. "I reflected on my own family and life and thought about how lucky I have been."
While deployed to Iraq, the chief tried to help out any way he could. He figured holding a baby that needed comforting that would free up one more set of arms that could be providing care to more critical patients.
"I pray for the best for the Iraqi children," he said. "I can't tell the difference between their kids and our kids. The Iraqi parents have the same care and compassion for their children as any American."