Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

July 4, 2013

Scout Report: The Stars and Stripes forever

Alright, I admit it. I've been slacking on my series explaining the history of the  Constitution. However, this happens to be the week of my favorite holiday and I would be remiss if I let it pass without commentary; so the Seventh Amendment will just have to wait.

Of all of the Independence Days that I've celebrated, one in particular stands out as particularly special. It is one that will remain with me always.

On the evening of July 3, 2006, I was traveling south of Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) on MSR (Main Supply Route) Tampa en route to Tallil Air Base, which is near Nasiriyah in southern Iraq. The trip from BIAP was one of our shortest routes, taking as little as eight hours if conditions were right. About halfway in between BIAP and Tallil was a camp called Scania that had been constructed in the middle of the MSR and served as a secure refueling depot.

That night we ran into a traffic jam just north of Scania. A convoy ahead of us had discovered an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) in the road. An Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) unit had to be dispatched to dismantle the bomb before anyone could continue traveling south. That usually took several hours. In the mean time, we pulled security and waited as more convoys piled up behind us.

After about five hours I looked down at my watch and noticed it was after midnight –officially the Fourth of July – so I sent up a couple of flares to celebrate. The other trucks in my convoy followed suit. In sequence down the line other trucks in other convoys began sending up flares as well. There were trucks lined up for miles. For as far as you could see, brilliant balls of flame lit up the night sky. Some were parachute flares that hung about and took several minutes to drift down; others were star clusters that exploded in a variety of red, white and green flavors.

At one point, the trucks behind us sent up at least 10 flares in rapid succession that created a waterfall effect. It almost looked choreographed. I took out my iPod and began broadcasting "Stars and Stripes Forever" over the radio. In that brief moment, everything was perfect. I came to understand the true meaning of liberty and why this country is so special.

As you celebrate this great holiday, I hope you will reflect upon its meaning. As a nation, I believe we have lost sight of ourselves. Ronald Reagan once said, "You and I must protect and preserve freedom here or it will not be passed on to our children." I hope that you will take this opportunity to instill a sense of patriotism in the next generation by reading the Declaration of Independence at your celebrations, particularly if you have children or grandchildren. And of course, say a prayer for the guardians watching the flares.

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Glade Sun
  • County residents urged to vote

    Cumberland County has around 39,000 registered voters, as well as a strong reputation for voter participation.  However, as of press time on Tuesday, only 4,300 residents had taken advantage of early voting for the Aug. 7 primary and general elections. Local officials are predicting less than 50 percent of registered voters will cast their vote in the 14 days of early voting, plus election day. Only 23 percent of registered county voters participated in the May elections.

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  • Board amends by-laws

    At the July meeting of the Fairfield Glade Community Club, the board of directors approved a vote to amend the club's bylaws regarding uncontested elections of board members, effectively declaring Bob Diller and Steven Smith new board members.

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    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Read the latest edition of "The Bulletin"

    The Crossville Chronicle-Glade Sun also publishes a newsletter called "The Bulletin" in which you'll find a schedule of Glade activities and events, a restaurant and dining guide, golf information, and even tour schedules. Click here for the latest PDF edition of "The Bulletin."

    April 21, 2010 1 Link

  • Patches of Life: The replacement years

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    July 30, 2014

  • Abacus Column: Tennessee the third most corrupt state in the U.S.?

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    July 30, 2014

  • A Time 4 Paws celebrates pet adoption after 3 1/2 years

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    July 30, 2014

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

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    July 30, 2014

  • FFG Treasure Hunt set for Sept. 5

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