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Entertaining Angels

Entertaining Angels
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An American Soldier Comes Home

All –

We live in Henry County, Georgia. Our county is named for Patrick Henry, one of our founding fathers and a one of our nation’s greatest patriots. The citizens of this county understand the patriot’s heart.

Last week Nelle, a neighbor and I were discussing how we are always amazed at the patriotism, valor and honor our servicemen demonstrate every day and how proud we are of their service.

A couple days later we heard that we recently lost one of our own in Afghanistan. SSG Beale.

He served proudly while his family and our communities prayed for his safety waiting nervously for his return. Last week he came home a hero. An American patriot. An inspiration and a solemn testament to the great sacrifices some must make each generation for the next.

When we heard of SSG Beale’s return, the citizens of our county rose up, stood on their feet and gathered at every street corner along the nearly 20 mile course from Falcon Field in Peachtree City in Fayette County to McDonough in Henry County.

Our neighborhood gathered at the corner with our flags waving and our hearts pounding as much with pride as sorrow as we ushered the procession down Jonesboro Road.

There were no community organizers. We didn’t need them. We instinctively know what to do. It’s a small thing to gather a few flags and a few friends together and stand in honor of a hero. A patriot. A neighbor.

Our communities are a wonderful blend of ethnic, religious and political orientations. On that day there were no whites or blacks, no Jews or Gentiles, Christians or Muslims, Democrats or Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives. We were all Americans. We understand the patriot’s heart. It beats in our chests.

The link below is a video shot from one of the patrol cars in the procession. This video will never win an award. But it’s a powerful testament to a community of citizen patriots, a tribute to our home town hero and the family who loaned him to our country as a down payment for the freedoms so many don’t appreciate.

Tears welled up in my eyes as SSG Beale’s procession passed – and again each time I watch this video.

Most of the people standing along the procession’s course probably didn’t know SSG Beale. But we knew his heart. We stand proudly in support of his family and raise them in our prayers.

You have a voice – the voice of a patriot. Stand proud and speak clearly. You are an American. You are not alone.


Sources: Letter from Mike received in an E-mail; tribute video made by Rep. Steve Davis. Link below.

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