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Old 08-06-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
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Friday At The Pentagon

Fridays At The Pentagon

It really breaks my heart to know that we didn't know this goes on every Friday, well at least I didn't know. Instead, I guess the media feels it's more important to report on Hollywood stars as heroes. I hope this article gives you a sense of pride for what our men and women are doing for us, everyday, as they serve in the armed forces here and abroad.

__________________________________________________ __________ _________________________
IT HAPPENS EVERY FRIDAY! WERE YOU AWARE?

Mornings at the Pentagon

By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
McClatchy Newspapers

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.

This week, I'm turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who recently completed a year long tour of duty in Iraq and is now back at the Pentagon.

Here's Lt. Col. Bateman's account of 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 Weblog of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Website.

"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 offices line one side, G2 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.

The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares. "10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost 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 four years.

"Did you know that?
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:37 AM   #2
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

The sad part is WWII was the last justifiable war.

Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War accomplished nothing except to make the war profiteers wealthy. These brave men sacrificed their lives so others could get wealthy.

Read Former Marine Smedley Butler, the most decorated Marine in U.S. History, in his book War is a Racket. This can be found online in a PDF format. http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

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Originally Posted by tradosaurus View Post
The sad part is WWII was the last justifiable war.
VERY debatable.

from your link and author(with the premise that you believe WWI was also justifiable)...

CHAPTER FIVE

"To Hell With War!

I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war.

Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany."
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

he said it was the LAST one not the first and only :P lol all politicians always have been and always will be corrupt so what else is new. Thier all the used car dealers of the govt haha.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:29 PM   #5
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

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he said it was the LAST one not the first and only...
correct...but my quote needed that premise to prove my point.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:37 PM   #6
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

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Originally Posted by tradosaurus View Post
Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War accomplished nothing except to make the war profiteers wealthy. These brave men sacrificed their lives so others could get wealthy.

Read Former Marine Smedley Butler, the most decorated Marine in U.S. History, in his book War is a Racket. This can be found online in a PDF format. http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html
Well said. The eye opening book for me was "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins. He explains the basis for all US foreign policy and wars during the last 75 years, perhaps longer.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

I work in a military hospital. I see the damaged bodies and minds every workday. While the wars are debatable by many on why we get into them or start them, there is at least one non-debatable fact about how the US operates. We consume more energy than we produce.

Our premise for war seems to be to preserve peace in the world, which sounds like an oxymoron until you understand why police carry guns. While this is a noble goal, it has a by-product of providing fertile ground for the prosperity of all nations. Prosperity through trade of goods and... energy.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:09 PM   #8
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

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Originally Posted by beatr911 View Post
Our premise for war seems to be to preserve peace in the world...
yup, the UN has proven to be just short of worthless. sometimes i think, "let the rest of the world work out their own peace(and issues)." then i think of the analogy of a group of boys assaulting a girl...i'm not gonna stand by and let it happen.

politics too...many wars could have ended sooner w/ the absence of politics.

oh, and the US could produce more energy if certain groups and political parties would allow!
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

This thread could get real stupid, real fast. In fact it started out that way.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:23 AM   #10
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Re: Friday At The Pentagon

So... is this true? It sounds like at the end it should have PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.
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