Chick-fil-A


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By Bill Callen:Top Right News

Chick-fil-A, the same fast-food outlet has once again proved a positive to the world. This time it did so by unveiling an amazing Veterans Day tribute that left Georgia resident Eric Comfort in complete shock.

According to a Facebook post he published on Mon, when he walked into a local Chick-fil-A, Comfort discovered a”Missing Man Table”that contained a single rose, a Bible & a folded American flag, as well as a plaque in which was the following explanation:

“This table is reserved to honor our missing comrades in arms.The tablecloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call of duty.

The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers. The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers. The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God. The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share this evening’s toast. The chair is empty – they are missing.”

After the story went viral, the store manager, Alex Korchan, explained to WSB that his team members had set up the table because they “wanted to honor veterans.” Furthermore, he offered free meals to all veterans and their family members on Veterans Day. Korchan also put up a poster so that customers could write in the names of loved ones who they have lost. “We’ve had a lot of people who have come in and seen it and been touched by it,” Korchan continued. “It’s been special to see.”

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Dan Polecheck’s Tribute to Vietnam Vets


Reposted from A Crusty Old Sailor Remembers Vietnam

Several years ago I was struggling and having trouble coping with Vietnam. I started writing poetry to help myself with these struggles. The first poem i wrote was titled “The Wall” and it took me six years to write it. When I went back to college to get my degree in website development and design, I created this movie utilizing my poem. It was before I really learned to design well and it is a little on the rough side. But since it was part of my healing process, I never wanted to change it. If you would like to see this movie, you can click on the picture of “The Wall” below and it will take you to it.

vietnam-memorial

When A Soldier Cries


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Reposted from Chris Martin Writes

A tattered picture, nearly faded to white
Faces of the ones for whom a soldier fights
In the empty silence of a world so far away
On the rocky ground, the only place to lay

A father dreams of home, family, and friends
In war, there is no guarantee he will see them again
Thunder roars with fury, lightning burns the darkened skies
The mighty angels shed a tear, when a soldier cries

She walks across the street, a young child stands alone
Memories haunt her dreams of the daughters she left at home
She tries to smile, show happiness through the tears
Although she wants to help, the child retreats in fear

At night she dreams of home, bedtime hugs and kisses
She prays to one day have again, everything she misses
She can still see their faces as they spoke their last goodbyes
Nothing can soothe a heart, when a soldier cries

In the pouring rain he stands guard, rifle in hand
Just two years out of high school, his parents don’t understand
He wanted something greater than just video games and fun
He dedicated his life to become more than just an ordinary son

A young man dreams of home and wishes upon a distant star
The letters are few and far between, only time can heal a wounded heart
In the gathering shadows, just beyond where the unseen lies
Those who have gone before, bow their heads when a soldier cries

The growl of crunching metal, searing heat and flames surround
Voices of the wounded, silent screams that have no sound
She left college early and signed up to answer the call
Now lying in the wreckage, she wonders if it’s time to give it all

The young woman dreams of home, but she doesn’t surrender to the fear
She knows if they’re alive, they will come back and find her here
Chaos and confusion, in a place where hope and fate collide
She fights for every breath, there’s no shame when a soldier cries

They stand in single file, one hand raised to touch their brow
Men and women, young and old, bound together by a sacred vow
Silently they watch as each car drives slowly past
A beautiful flag covers every casket, heroes returning home at last

Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, bravery at its best
Defined by the unselfish act of sacrifice, courage passed the ultimate test
With a will stronger than iron, nerves of steel and no compromise
There’s nothing to give but respect and honor…when a soldier cries

Copyright 2013 Chris Martin

God Bless Bennett & Vivian Levins


Here’s a “today” story that occurred just before Christmas 2014.

The idea started last Christmas 2013, when Bennett and Vivian Levin were overwhelmed by sadness while listening to radio reports of injured American troops. “We have to let them know we care,” Vivian told Bennett. So they organized a trip to bring soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philly, on December 3. The cool part is, they created their own train line to do it.

Yes, there are people in this country who actually own real trains. Bennett Levin – native Philly guy, self-made millionaire and irascible former L&I commish – is one of them. He owns three luxury rail cars. Think mahogany paneling, plush seating and white-linen dining areas. He also has two locomotives, which he stores at his Juniata Park train yard.

One car, the elegant Pennsylvania , carried John F. Kennedy to the Army-Navy game in 1961 and 1962. Later, it carried his brother Bobby’s body to D.C. for burial. “That’s a lot of history for one car,” says Bennett. He and Vivian wanted to revive a tradition that endured from 1936 to 1975, during which trains carried Army-Navy spectators, around the country directly to the stadium where the annual game is played. The Levins could think of no better passengers to reinstate the ceremonial ride than the wounded men and women recovering at Walter Reed in D.C. and Bethesda , in Maryland . “We wanted to give them a first-class experience,” says Bennett. “Gourmet meals on board, private transportation from the train to the stadium, perfect seats – real hero treatment.”

Through the Army War College Foundation, of which he is a trustee, Bennett met with Walter Reed’s commanding general, who loved the idea. But Bennett had some ground rules first, all designed to keep the focus on the troops alone:

No press on the trip, lest the soldiers’ day of pampering devolve into a media circus.

No politicians either, because, says Bennett, “I didn’t want some idiot making this trip into a campaign photo op.”

And no Pentagon suits on board, otherwise the soldiers would be too busy saluting superiors to relax.

The general agreed to the conditions, and Bennett realized he had a problem on his hands. “I had to actually make this thing happen,” he laughs. Over the next months, he recruited owners of 15 other sumptuous rail cars from around the country – these people tend to know each other – into lending their vehicles for the day. The name of their temporary train? The Liberty Limited.

Amtrak volunteered to transport the cars to D.C. – where they’d be coupled together for the round-trip ride to Philly – then back to their owners later.

Conrail offered to service the Liberty while it was in Philly. And SEPTA drivers would bus the disabled soldiers 200 yards from the train track to the football stadium for the game.

A benefactor from the War College ponied up 100 seats to the game – on the 50-yard line – and lunch in a hospitality suite.

And corporate donors filled, for free and without asking for publicity, goodie bags for attendees:
From Woolrich, stadium blankets.
From Wal-Mart, digital cameras.
From Nikon, field glasses.
From GEAR, down jackets.

There was booty not just for the soldiers, but for their guests, too, since each was allowed to bring a friend or family member. The Marines declined the offer. “They voted not to take guests with them, so they could take more Marines,” says Levin, choking up at the memory.

Bennett’s an emotional guy, so he was worried about how he’d react to meeting the 88 troops and guests at D.C.’s Union Station, where the trip originated. Some GI’s were missing limbs. Others were wheelchair-bound or accompanied by medical personnel for the day. “They made it easy to be with them,” he says. “They were all smiles on the ride to Philly. Not an ounce of self-pity from any of them. They’re so full of life and determination.”

At the stadium, the troops reveled in the game, recalls Bennett. Not even Army’s loss to Navy could deflate the group’s rollicking mood.

Afterward, it was back to the train and yet another gourmet meal – heroes get hungry, says Levin – before returning to Walter Reed and Bethesda .

“The day was spectacular,” says Levin. “It was all about these kids. It was awesome to be part of it.”

The most poignant moment for the Levins was when 11 Marines hugged them goodbye, then sang them the Marine Hymn on the platform at Union Station. “One of the guys was blind, but he said, “I can’t see you, but man, you must be beautiful!” ” says Bennett. “I got a lump so big in my throat, I couldn’t even answer him.”

It’s been three weeks, but the Levins and their guests are still feeling the day’s love. “My Christmas came early,” says Levin, who is Jewish and who loves the Christmas season. “I can’t describe the feeling in the air.” Maybe it is hope.

As one guest wrote in a thank-you note to Bennett and Vivian, “The fond memories generated last Saturday will sustain us all – whatever the future may bring.”

God bless the Levins!