Musings of the Chronologically Challenged™ Fourth Generation
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
From Ian, Gardiner, ME
This is what should happen for anyone who defends our country's honor and ideals.
As it should be.
The following was received from a USMC friend and is worthy of your read and forwarding......... It was written by a Marine Capt. on escort duty from St. Louis MO for a young Marine killed in Iraq.
As you can see, I have cc'ed a lot of people on this because I wanted to get the word out as quickly as possible. 1stSgt Berg, GySgt Bontkowski and I went to St. Louis International airport tonight to meet the body of Corporal Evan James when he came in on an American Airlines flight.
When we found out the time and airline of his arrival, Gunny Bontkowski called the Airport Operations to arrange for us to be on the tarmac to meet the body and put it in the hearse. What happened next would choke up the hardest Marine.
We arrived at the airport and it seemed like every airport cop employed there was around to make sure that we got on the tarmac. The plane pulled up and the casket (in the travel dunnage) came down the ramp and we loaded it into the hearse.
As we left the tarmac with an airport police escort, the gate guards saluted.
We then picked up our escorts from the Missouri State Police.
We passed by the gate of the Missouri Air National Guard unit and their guards were rendering full honors to our convoy.
The Airport police had blocked off ALL traffic in and out of the airport when we departed. The state troopers were in the lead and in trail.
State troopers had also blocked off I-70 so our convoy would easily get on the highway. The troopers escorted the hearse to Hannibal, MO, where it crossed the state line into Illinois.
At that point, the Illinois State Police took over the escort duties all the way to La Harpe, IL.
The police captain of the airport police arranged all of this.
Gunny Bontkowski is getting names so that we can send them our humble thanks.
Is there any way that LtGen McCarthy or Gen Hagee can send something once we get the names of the people in St. Louis that made these honors possible? They went well out of their way to honor a Marine they did not know from Adam.
Words alone cannot express the pride, humility, and emotions that we felt for Cpl James and the Marine Corps.
Capt John Bruzza, USMC