Thursday, June 14, 2007

Once a Soldier Always A Soldier. Happy Birthday US Army

(The photo is Sydney E, Manning Medal of Honor Recipient from World War One)
Today marks the 232nd anniversary of The United States Army. I am a former Soldier, I volunteered for the Army Infantry (Airborne) right after I completed High School. In many ways I count myself least among this amazing organization that includes men like Paul Smith and women like Deborah Samson. But at the end of the day, now and always I claim the title of "Soldier." I graduated from the US Army Infantry School at Fort Benning as well as the Airborne Course. That Blue cord and those hard-earned jump wings ( I jumped injured for my last three qualifying jumps -I have a total of Five Military Jumps) are among my proudest possessions. My Honorable Discharge is framed and hangs over my College Diploma. The discipline, loyalty and commitment to excellence I learned in the Army have supported me in all aspects of my life. I was fortunate enough to have served during peace but my brothers and sisters now under fire are constantly in my thoughts.

They say "Once a Soldier, Always A Soldier," and I have found this to be true. I am proud of all the branches of our Military but my heart belongs to the US Army. To be sure there is a quietness about my branch, a reluctance to display and discuss, this probably emanates from the concepts of the "Quiet Professional," (Army Hero SFC Chapman)and the legacy of George Washington and the Citizen Soldier (Barry Strauss piece on the Citizen Soldier) all of which find themselves lodged in the collective unconscious of the American Soldier. There is also it seems a professional acceptance at being unsung-by being the boots on the ground doing the tough thankless jobs, day in and day out frequently under unbelievably dangerous conditions.
The spiritual core of the US Army is the common Foot Soldier or Infantryman. He is the individual who when asked by America to do so, takes and holds ground. Even as we speak there are young men volunteering to do this. Volunteering to go in harms way.

LTC Randolph C. White speech gives an excellent overview about what it means to be an Infantry Soldier.

The hard lessons learned while at the Infantry School in the searing heat of summer in Georgia have stayed with me. When I encounter a problem I still say to myself ;"Over, Around, Under or Through." When a task is at hand I frequently think of the Infantry motto; "Follow Me!" Or the Airborne call,"All the Way!"
Because Soldiers are so frequently reluctant to talk about their service once it is done, you may be surprised by the number of Former Soldiers now serving in Congress.
Yes, Once a Soldier Always A Soldier. So even though my time as a Spartan is done and I now work in the dream factory making stories, I would like to tell all my Army family from Valley Forge to Kirkuk, from the beaches of Normandy to the rough mountains of Afghanistan.
Thank you for your service, Happy Birthday and remember this Soldier's prayers always have your six.
Paul Parducci
Sorry Almost forgot: HOOAH!


Bald Headed Geek said...

Thank you for your service, Mr. Parducci.


KleoPatra said...

"Over, Around, Under or Through" - i like that and will use that...

And thank YOU, P.P.