The daytime temperature soared near 140 degrees.
Posted on 11/9/13
By Lee Coleman
As the night fell, a breath of relief was sighed as the nauseating and oppressive heat of the day cooled to a frigid 100 degrees.
In the wee early morning hours of the next day, the drums of war summoned the Army’s 108th Cavalry for a mission.
The orders were simple. Send out the Cavalry scouts, clear a road of possible explosives, find the insurgents and eliminate them.
The day was August 16, 2005. The time was 2:30 a.m. local time. The place was Yusufiyah, Iraq.
South of Baghdad. In the heart of the Triangle of Death.
A young sergeant was on patrol when his team came upon a structure on the side of the road.
As the scouts moved in to secure the structure, the sergeant stayed behind to provide cover for his team in the event of a sudden insurgent attack.
Without warning, the explosion occurred. The device was hidden behind a bush next to a pole on the roadway and was detonated by a washing machine timer and a battery.
The 130 mm shell had been packed with all sorts of debris; glass, nails, concrete pieces and so forth. Part of the ensuing shrapnel spray found the ambitious sergeant.
Fifteen minutes later, his young life was over.
The doorbell rang at 7 a.m. the next morning. Making his way to the front door, the sergeant’s father opened the door and was greeted by an Army captain and a chaplain.
He immediately knew his worse nightmare had come true.
His son was gone.
For serving his country and defending the freedom we have.
This is only one story of the countless thousands of stories about the brave men and women who have served our country and defended our way of life, many of them paying the ultimate price.
On Monday, we will observe Veteran’s Day and remember those who have perished while honoring all veterans, living or dead.
This day will be about thanks and remembrance. It will be a day to look at the flag of this great country without fear of retribution or tyranny.
It will be yet another day when we can all wake up and go about our daily lives without fear of aggression and dictatorship.
All because of every veteran who has served the United States of America.
So, when you wake up Monday, take a minute to really reflect on what our veterans mean to us.
Then, take another minute in the quiet of the day for a moment of silence as you say thank you in your own way.
Our veterans deserve the respect. They’ve earned it.
Many with their lives.
Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org