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PostUS: Army Reserve: a message from itz xommander. (John Eipper, USA, 09/14/05 2:47 pm)
Dick Hancock writes: I think Waisers may be interested in this letter from Lt. General James R. Helmly,
Chief, Army Reserve. Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command:
The images are imprinted in our minds. But the true lesson of that day was what we learned about ourselves as Americans. We learned how the worst of acts bring out the best in us: firemen and policemen running into burning buildings, leading others to safety. Others running -- not from the city --but to it, bringing medical help, food, and shelter. Strangers throughout our country asked; How can we help? What can we do? We re-discovered the greatness of the American spirit.
Members of the Army Reserve were among the first casualties of the Global War on Terror and among its first heroes. Nine members of our active and retired ranks would die in the combined attacks that day. Five were New York firefighters who perished rescuing others: they were Capt. Mark P. Whitford; Capt. Michael D. Mullan; Warrant Officer 1 Ronald P. Bucca; Staff Sgt. Frederick J. Ill; and Sgt. Shawn Powell. Retired Col. Rick Rescorla risked death numerous times, while leading hundreds to safety. And much of the military equipment delivered to ground zero was brought by Army Reserve Soldiers from nearby units.
Among the first Soldiers our Army deployed were those of the 311th Quartermaster Company (Mortuary Affairs) from Puerto Rico. They deployed within 72 hours of the attacks to the Pentagon where they reverently and
meticulously gathered the remains and personal items of the 184 victims of that attack. Since that terrible day, more than 140,000 Army Reserve Soldiers have answered our country's call to duty in this war. Eighty-eight of our ranks have paid the ultimate price and 668 have been gravely injured.
Those who attacked us expected to cause financial ruin and panic. They believed they could immobilize or intimidate Americans. Instead, we find America and its spirit as strong as ever. The havens of the terrorists are
routed. Two countries that had suffered under the rule of thugs now work to build their own future. Democratic ideals are being nurtured as carefully in Afghanistan and Iraq today as they were in this country a few centuries
ago. The freedom from tyranny many of our grandfathers brought to Europe and Asia during the 20th century, this current generation of American patriots defends for us and secures for those in Southwest Asia.
In the words of our President: There is no greater calling than service in our armed forces. We live in freedom because every generation has produced patriots willing to serve a cause greater than themselves. Those who serve today are taking their rightful place among the greatest generations that have worn our nation's uniform. You, my fellow Army Reserve Soldiers, are that current generation of American patriots. I am humbled to serve with you. It is your selfless acts of honor and service that remind the world of the greatness and the immense depth of the American spirit. God bless each of you and your families. And God bless this great country of ours, the United States of America.
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