Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Service Flag

I did not know what a "service flag" was until a friend in my church brought me one to hang in my window. At the time my son was in Iraq. I understand it is tradition, going back how far I do not know, to place this flag in your front window if you have a person serving in the military in harm's way. So I proudly placed the flag in my window. Here is what it looked like while he was overseas.

More importantly is my son for which it stands. Todd Andrew Archer is a Sergeant First Class, having been in the army for 17 years. Initially he was a "tanker" in the Armored Cavalry, a crew member in our M1A2 Abrams Main Battlestation tanks. He injured his ankles three or four years ago and was transferred to a transportation batallion.

"I wish I were in my tank in Baghdad", he said. I thanked God he worked behind a computer screen routing convoys while in Iraq.

Currently he is home from Iraq, located at Fort Bragg, No Carolina. He may go back to Iraq during the coming year. I pray not. But I support him whereever he goes.

Here is a picture of my son in his dress outfit.

Isn't he splendid! I am one of those persons who do not support the war; but who definitely support and love my son. Some can't understand that. They bother me less and less.

Now here is a poem my daughter came across. It is what sparked this entry onto my blog.

by William Hartley Holcomb

The sordid roll of business wheels
Grind on the dirty streets,
Unmindful of our drafted sons
Out on the deep, in fleets;

Old gay Broadway keeps up its pace
From dark-time until light,
Unthinking of the soldier boys
Who hold the trench at night.

The careless come, the reckless go
Unhallowed on their way,
Unheeding of the wounded ones
Or Death s toll of each day;

But, down the street at a doorway drear,
There hangs a strip of red,
With its center white, and one blue star
Like azure from overhead;

And further down is another strip
With two stars shining clear,
While a third with three on its white field
Hangs in a window near;

And we know that out of the world of
The wise and thoughtless gay,
Six strong true men have heard Freedom s
And bravely marched away.

And we know three homes on that same
Where happiness used to be,
Now places keep for three vacant chairs,
Here one, there two, there three;

And we know three homes where anxious
Await the coming morn,
When street boys call out the battle news
Night s wireless wings have borne.

Then doff your hat to the Service Flags,
You man of careless mien
A nobler scroll on Honor s Roll
This world has never seen;

For first in duty, first in war,
Their valor will not cease,
And when they come marching home
They will be the first in Peace.