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I really love this song by Alabama, it says it all to me, all my love and wishes to my friends and Family. But it also holds dear tender memories for my oldest. When this song came out in the 80s my oldest had just been in Germany for a 6 mos. and had turned 21 alone over there on the 13th of Dec. 2 weeks before Christmas...he had never been farther than 2oo miles from home for more than 4 days in his life.
This was a time of unrest and the cold War was still raging. Alot of kids joined the Army back then because they couldn't find jobs..one little boy, I say little, he couldn't have been over 17 yrs old got on the plane to go to Germany with my son and all he owned was the clothes he had on his back...Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful it was not Iraq or The far East like today, but we were in constant struggle with terrorist. My son lost several Buddies to bomb blast in German. Any way's when this song came out I sent him the video as part of his Christmas package, he shared it with the guys in the rec-hall, now as I said he had just turned 21 but he was considered the old man of the Unit. He wrote home about how home sick so many of these little brave guys were. When the song started playing, he said
there wasn't a dry eye in the room. Of course he said he made it fine until the part "and from Jackson, MS", and that did it, the water works flowed from him too.
While we are home with our families and enjoying the comforts of families celebrating together, please remember the young men and women who make it all possible, by giving up their time with their Families and friends to keep us safe. God Bless our men and women in Uniform.
Charles (Chuck) Leonard Smith Jr. 1986
Fort Benning Ga. Aug, 1986
The guy on the far left is Andy Fegley from up state New York, he and Chuck started a life time friendship this year of Basic and would serve together for the next 3 yrs.
2009, their Friendship still holds on, I didn't get a picture, but Andy came to see Chuck last Weds while he was at Camp Shelby in Hattisburg..these boys form bonds that last a life time when they are on their own and all alone in a distant land.
Ilishaim, Germany 1986 on the Czechoslovakia boarder