In which our intrepid hero lends some support to our troops overseas.

I’m not usually one to care much about chain emails; I usually just forward the amusing ones to friends and forget the rest.

My cousin, Kylie, sent me the following email, though, and it touched a nerve. Her brother, Brendan, is currently posted in Iraq with the Royal Australian Air Force. Not a day goes by when I or the rest of our family don’t think about him, and don’t worry that he might be injured in the line of duty.

The email reads as follows:

From the daughter of a Soldier.

Last week I was in Melbourne 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 uniforms, 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 Australian 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 enjoy our 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 knelt down and said “hi,” the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.

The young soldier didn’t look any older than maybe 22 themselves, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. 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 Corporal and had been in Afghanistan 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 as this entire event unfolded. 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 moment turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with 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 Australian.

Red Fridays

Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Australian’s 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. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Australians, like you, all our friends, and me simply want to recognize that the vast majority of Australia supports our troops. 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 Australian who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV—let’s make Australia every Friday a sea of red.

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 Australians covered in red and it will let our troops know the once “silent” majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

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; and wear something red every Friday.

I’m reasonably certain it’s actually a rebadged American email (Australians spell “mom” as “mum”), but it’s a damn good idea. The email doesn’t get bogged down in the politics of Iraq or Afghanistan (and for this reason, I haven’t labelled this post under “Politics”)—it just says what all of us friends and relatives of active servicemen feel.

Our young men and women on active service risk their lives day in and day out to make the world a better place. We’re proud of you and what you do. At the end of the day, the politics doesn’t matter—we just want you to come home, safe and sound.

I need to buy more red clothing.

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