Friday, February 19, 2010
Fury From the Sky
At the place where I work, I volunteer to lower the US flag to halfstaff on those days when it's appropriate. Usually, it's to honor a fallen American, especially those from Michigan. Looking back, I've lowered the flag seventeen times since September 11, 2008 for various men and women, young and old, according to the Governor's emailed announcements. I feel a sense of duty to them and their families, and since I'm not serving myself, I do what I can to thank them for their sacrifice.
Today, I lowered it for Army Sergeant Dillon B. Foxx, of Traverse City. Now, I didn't know this young man. It's a coincidence that I have family in Traverse City, and that caught my eye as peculiar. What really got me, however, was his unit: the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. I'm pretty sure this Army unit is a direct descendent of the one my dad served in. Back then, it was called the 508th Airborne Infantry Regiment. My dad served at Fort Kobbe, in the (Panama) Canal Zone. Over the years, that unit saw changes in mission and location, and was absorbed into the 82nd Airborne Division.
I've been lucky in that I've only known a few people who have died in the Middle East. I've been luckier in that I am able to live my life as I see fit while others defend my right to do so. It might be cheesy of me, but I feel a connection to this particular soldier, this particular sacrifice.