Thursday, September 8, 2011
Red Shirts written by Col Stringer
If the red shirt thing is new to you, read below how it went for one man...
"Last week, while travelling to Brisbane on business, I noticed an army sergeant travelling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in Business Class (across from me), and inquired if he
was heading home.'No. I'm escorting a soldier home.' 'Going to pick him up?'
'No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Afghanistan . I'm taking him home to his family.' The realisation of what he had been asked to do hit me like a rock to the head. It was an honour for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, 'Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.' He took my hand and said "Thank You "
Upon landing in Brisbane , the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom. 'Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honour of having Sergeant Jamison of the Royal Australian Army join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Jamison to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign.' Without a sound, all went as requested.. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realise that I am proud to be an Australian."
So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do. Red Fridays Very soon, you will see people wearing Red every Friday. The reason; Australians 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
organised, boisterous or overbearing.
Many Australians, like you, me and all our friends have sons'daughters, friends or family serving in our armed forces and so we simply want to recognise that the vast majority of Australians 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 red-blooded 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 much like an AFL Grand final game in the MCG Stands. 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 Australia is 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.
Don't let this be like it was for our poor Vietnam Vets 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.