By: Paul Moorehead, Jr.
Last week I was in Atlanta , Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed One of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.
Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.
When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and Cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.
Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.
Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our Service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said 'hi...'
The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her...
The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.
The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.
When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second... Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it..
After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'
The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event.
As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.
We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.
RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'. We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.
Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday - and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.
By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.
If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED.
The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is.....We need your support and your prayers.
Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example.
Renowned Champion and Accompanying Fighters Depart Region Having
Visited Eight Military Bases and Experienced the Trip of a Lifetime
Oscar de la Hoya (center) poses with troops during his USO tour to the Middle East.
De La Hoya (center) boards a cargo plane with troops during his USO tour to the Middle East.
De La Hoya, Broner, Jacobs and Mitchell pose in front of army tank during their trip to visit troops in the Middle East.
For full photo gallery clickHERE.(Photo Credit: USO photo by Steve Manuel)
Twitter Pitch:@GoldenBoyBoxing's @OscarDeLaHoya, @ajtheproblem21, @DanielJacobsTKO & Seth Mitchell return stateside following whirlwind @the_USO tour
ARLINGTON, VA. (March 15, 2011)- Olympic Gold Medalist and former Ten-Time World Champion in six weight divisions who turned USO veteran,Oscar de la Hoyatouched downstateside today following a whirlwind seven-dayUSO/Armed Forces Entertainmenttour to Kuwait and Iraq. Accompanied by up-and-coming fightersAdrien Broner,Danny JacobsandSeth Mitchell,De La Hoyaled the group to the Middle East on March 8, where they went on to extend their thanks to troops and visit eight military bases. Among some of the installations visited wereCamp Arifjan,COB Basra,Camp Victory,Camp Liberty,JSS LoyaltyandJSS Justice.
Having lifted the spirits of thousands of servicemen and servicewomen, the group held a series of boxing clinics as well as signed hundreds of autographs and delivered an infinite number of smiles. Most telling of the group's popularity among troops was seen at Camp Victory, where more than 600 troops turned out to attend a USO boxing demonstration featuring the fighters.Despite the tour coming to a close, its impact on De La Hoya and the others were felt once they returned home.
Quotes: Attributed to Oscar de la Hoya:
[On the impact the tour had on his life...]
"Going on this USO tour and spending time with the servicemen and servicewomen who protect our country was a life-changing experience. You don't realize what it means to be a participant in our military efforts and the sacrifices each one of them is making to fight for and protect our freedom until you see it first-hand."
[On what he learned while out on tour...]
"Hearing their stories and seeing what they go through on a daily basis has changed my life. The opportunity to see how our troops live and understand their ability to be ready for anything at a moment's notice showed me what it means to be truly brave."
[On what he plans to do after his tour...]
"I hope that we were able to make a difference in the lives of the troops we met. I am dedicated to continuing to help the USO with their mission of uplifting the spirits of our nation's troops, sharing my experiences and encouraging others to support our brave servicemen and servicewomen in any way they can."
Memorialsforheroes.com is designed to perform crucial work to create lasting legacies for all kinds of incredible folks who have not been formally recognized and should be heralded for their life's work. Our ultimate goal is to salute humble, heroic men and women from all walks of life and help families and communities plan events, tributes, celebrations, memorials, and monuments for their fallen heroes and heroines.