Every Friday At The Pentagon

Every Friday At The Pentagon

This is a discussion on Every Friday At The Pentagon within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Did a quick search and didn't see anything so I figured I would post this up: "Something that a friend passed on to me: Every ...

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Thread: Every Friday At The Pentagon

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Every Friday At The Pentagon

    Did a quick search and didn't see anything so I figured I would post this up:

    "Something that a friend passed on to me:

    Every Friday At The Pentagon
    I was not aware of this practice until now. I am pleased that it happens,
    and am astounded that it does happen,
    given the political situation that exists in our government today.

    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,
    every day, as they serve in the armed forces here and abroad.


    Mornings at the Pentagon

    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 yearlong tour of duty 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? I didn't.
    Don't send it back to me, just be a Patriot and send it on its way as you see fit."
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array oneshot's Avatar
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ksholder's Avatar
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    Very cool.
    "I've noticed that everyone that is pro-abortion has already been born." - Ronald Reagan

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  4. #4
    Member Array vietnamvet66's Avatar
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    May 2010
    That has gone on for some time now. I read about this a year or so ago on a military site I belong to.
    For any of the military personel on this site that don't know about this is the site...togeatherweserved.com
    It is a great resorse site as well as a place to keep in touch with others that have been, there done that.
    US ARMY Veteran 1965-1967 Vietnam 1966-1967

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Truly Emotional and heart warming,The only thing that seperates the Officers from the Enlisted is Rank,we all share the same emotions,sometimes we just don't show them in a public place.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Thanks for posting. I didn't know about this. Eyes watering, must be allergies.
    We will be much better off when we learn to deal with things as they really are, instead of how we wish them to be!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array DaveJay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnutty View Post
    Thanks for posting. I didn't know about this. Eyes watering, must be allergies.
    Its not allergies...

    I've had the honor of attending one Friday...I had a meeting in the Pentagon and got there early...

    I can't describe the emotions...even stronger than the first time I was at the Tomb of the Unknown and watched the Old Guard perform a wreath-laying ceremony...
    VCDL Member
    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #8
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    While we may banter among ourselves, and have our rivalry's. The military men and women, regardless of rank and branch, are a family. Some will serve in direct combat roles, others will serve in support functions, others still will serve in both capacities. One cannot survive without the other. When the chips are down, we know there will be someone there to support and lend a hand if needed. To those who are serving, to those of us who have served, and to those who will serve in the future. Thank you.
    joker1 likes this.
    Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.

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