20. September 2004 · Comments Off on A Proud Day · Categories: General

It was early June 2000, and was to be the last time that all of the 303rd Bomb Group Vets would try to attend the annual Hangar Dance at RAF Molesworth where they had served in WWII. The command decided to gather the JAC together in a ceremony to honor the vets as they arrived since it would be the last time the majority of them would be able to come. The Air Force members formed up on one side of the street, and the Navy, Marines, and Army formed up across the street facing us. As with every ceremony involving formations, we were in place 15-20 minutes early. I hated ceremonies and would avoid them if at all possible. I couldn’t get out of this one, though. We stood there for what seemed like forever at parade rest. Finally the cars and buses arrived, and we were put at attention. As they came up the street approaching us, we were given the “Order Arms” command and rendered our salutes. I have no idea how many cars and buses drove by, as there were several, and every one contained elderly men and their families with tears in their eyes saluting us back. As the tears rolled, which they do even now when I think about that day, I felt myself stand a little bit taller, and felt great pride that I was able to be there to honor those brave men, and the memories of those who never made it back. That day marked the proudest I ever was to wear a uniform.

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