You pick him up, brush him off, wipe his tears, hug his cheers. Then one day, all too soon, this
boy stands up and confidently speaks those words 'Duty, Honor, and Country'. I wonder where
he learned those words, a knowing parent proudly smiles; For now God controls his future miles.
A boy, almost man, proudly wears his new wings as he flys his C130 to Afghanistan. A parent
waves a weak-kneed good-bye too proud for words, I can not lie.
Minutes become hours, days become years and months an eternity. An occasional satellite call
from the Middle East just to say "hello" and "I'm all right". These few minutes spent creates such
a bright light.
The flicker from the computer monitor dances on the ceiling; oh, it must be 3 am again, what a
feeling. Get up to check for breaking news; 2nd time tonight, that's not so bad. And I'll bet I'm
not the only worried Dad.
What's this I read; a skirmish in Afghanistan? Not much detail; I'll have to wait. No sleep tonight -
it would be late. A Texas based cargo plane misses the airdrop zone; no one knows why; no one
blames. The pallets splash down in the river; there are no flames. With a heavy heart the
commander reacts; must retrieve those pallets; we must all act.
I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go too. Three fine young boys, almost men; and one brave young girl,
someone's daughter. These four brave heroes depart on their fateful mission. Rapidly swept
downstream, too far to have known. They crossed that invisible line where the hostility has
grown. Gunfire rings out; all are wounded; rescue team needed; Secure that area with extreme
caution heeded; More gunfire and several combatants are lost; all enemy insurgents - their
ultimate cost. The commander announces a priority mission; retrieve our wounded and get them
safe. Get in get out; use the quickest route.
I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go too. Four young boys, almost men; prepare their C130 to fly across
that invisible line. Loaded with nurses, medics and special forces too, they land on a newly
acquired airstrip, looking everywhere for a clue.
Load up the wounded; three young boys, almost men and one brave girl, someone's daughter.
Job well done; God's speed out; come on C130 - hurry the pace- the pressure is on, it's a life
But the master plan is sometimes mystifying; all four wounded heroes lose their battle for life.
Their bodies land fine and heroes they are; But God takes their soles on a journey afar
This C130 crew, now four strong men, are back in Bagram and in their canvas den; And on the
phone you hear - can't tell you anything Dad - but check the news. We are all safe; all our crews
But four sets of parents got that horrific news. And it occurred to me how much they too must
hate that Breaking News.
God Bless our Heroes
wrritten by Jim Portale, Sr May 2010
In honor of our men & women serving their country past, present and future