09 November 2007

Friday Night on the Corner

I work a corner at Georgia and Elder in NW Washington, DC on Friday nights. No, this isn't a career change for me (dirty-minded people), despite the recent fluctuation in my job situation. I spend several hours at the main entrance of Walter Reed Army Medical Center visibly supporting the troops.

Around 2 1/2 years ago, some idiot communist came up with the moronic idea of protesting at Walter Reed. (There are a handful of moonbats that stand out on the street, from 7p-9p on the dot, in front of one of the oldest and most prestigious military hospitals in the country to make a political statement by carrying signs that don't make sense.) Well, shortly thereafter, a group of patriots decided that there was no way that this political statement could go unopposed. So, they got together and took up post at all four corners of the main entrance to Walter Reed from 6:30p-9:30p (or whenever the buses show). This has been a weekly event for 134 weeks, now. Rain, shine, snow, sleet, wind, hail (OK so none of those last few exist in the DC area, but you get my drift), Tropical Depression Ernesto, etc.-- that corner is manned EVERY Friday night.

I have joined this group for the last couple of weeks (Click here for the after-action report and pictures from last week), and I just gotta say-- I'm not sure I can quite come up with a better way to end my work week. It's refreshing and energizing to do something for someone else. Even though the weight of the week has worn you down, when you stand in support of these warriors and wave and smile and express your appreciation, you feel lighter, happier, and more effective. I was trying to explain to my mom how much fun it was to stand in the drizzly rain a couple of weeks ago. She said, "Standing outside in the rain and getting cold and wet is not something I would think of as 'fun'..." The thing is, after you get cold and wet, you get to go get warm and dry again. We have soldiers (and sailors and airmen and marines and coasties) out there in weather of all types. They don't get to go home and drink hot chocolate after a few hours on their feet. How hard is it for us to stand in support of them for a little while?? How little that requires!

What we do is this: We gather on all four corners of the intersection. We hold signs and banners. We wave flags. We wave and smile at the cars coming and going. We call out "thank you" to the military personnel driving in and out. We get a lot of support (thumbs up, smiles, waves, honks, thank yous, etc.) from the cars going by. We've been told by several passers that they go out of their way to pass that corner on Friday on the way home, just to see us. I suppose it can be summarized by saying that we step just a little out of our comfort zones to honor those who have been removed from theirs.

On Friday evenings, buses filled with patients and their families go out to dinner. The supporters are standing on the corner when the buses return, and the moonbats have long gone home. When they come up to the entrance, the buses slow down, and the interior lights come on so that we can see the soldiers and families waving at us from within.

Tonight, there will be approximately 100-150 patriots crowding the intersection, due to the Veteran's Day weekend. (I'll post another entry about the weekend.) If you get a chance and happen to be in DC, please come join us! If you'd like more info, please feel free to gmail me.

Much love.

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