From the WaPo:
A single row of seats lined the walls of the plane. Toward the center of the fuselage, the litters were clamped to hangers suspended from the ceiling. On these triple-decker bunks were patients whose wounds did not require constant vigilance. They lay under brightly colored quilts, handmade by nameless American volunteers and given to them, along with candies and crayoned thank-you cards from schoolchildren, as part of the “repatriation package.”
How does one measure the greatness of a nation?
I can’t think of another nation on Earth that can do this: Give hope to its wounded. Give them a fighting chance to get home and live, whatever that means to them. Or simply die in the care of those so completely dedicated to their survival. To be surrounded by the love of their comrades in arms.
My mother pointed the picture out to me, saying, look, those are not GI issue blankets. Someone gave a gift of love and care. This is a thread throughout our history; women knitting socks and rolling bandages and putting together packages for soldiers they’ll never know or meet. It doesn’t matter. It’s what Americans, true Americans, do. From the medics and corpsmen in the heat of battle to the retired military wives who volunteer at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital, and every military care facility in the world, they bravely and quietly show the rest of us why we are the greatest nation on Earth.
This is both an uplifting and sad story, and it shows some of what is best in our nation, and why I’ll never give up on her.
As they say, read the whole thing.
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