Only Two Defining Forces Have Died For You


This is a true story my uncle sent me this morning. I had planned to have a tribute to the U.S. military on Independence Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day, but this was too good not to post today.

I have always had a deep respect and appreciation for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, so whenever I read that someone is bad mouthing them, I always get a little hot under the collar. I work a few minutes from a base and see planes flying all the time out my window. I think the U.S. military are some of the bravest men and women on the PLANET and should be given the respect and honor they rightly deserve. They put their lives on the line every single day for your freedom, and just because you have the right to free speech, in my opinion, does NOT give you or anyone the right to degrade or put down our brave men and women. I bet you’d be singing a different tune if your mother, father, son or daughter was the one they were burying that day in Arizona.

I’d just like to leave you with one final thought before I share this story.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.  One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

And now, the REST of the story…

Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before they  were. A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back. Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the mall.

When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB  officer, it must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint:

‘Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base:

Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early-bird special?

Any response would be appreciated.

The  response:

Regarding  ‘A wake-up call from Luke’s jets’ On June 15, at precisely 9:12  a.m., a  perfectly timed four-ship fly-by of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques. Capt Fresques was an Air Force officer who was  previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial  Day.

At 9 a. m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the letter writer’s  recount of the fly-by and because of the jet noise, I’m sure you didn’t hear the 21-gun  salute, the playing of Taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son’s flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and  servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.

A  four-ship fly-by is a display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate  respects.

The letter writer asks,  ‘Whom do we thank for the morning air show?’ The 56th Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their  lives.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.  One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Lt.  Col. Grant L. Rosensteel,  Jr.

USAF

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4 thoughts on “Only Two Defining Forces Have Died For You

  1. I hear many more complaints about the military than I hear gratitude.
    I was in the aviation side of the Navy – we were always grateful to hear our birds get home safely.

    Thanks for the post

  2. I dated (and very nearly married) an Air Force pilot many years ago. He had a bumper sticker on his car that I always loved:

    Jet Noise: The Sound of Freedom

    Although no one in my family is in the military, I do have a number of friends who are now or recently served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I have the utmost respect for them and I feel that it’s shameful that people take the sacrifices of these men, women, and their families for granted.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. I married into the USAF and had no idea what I was getting into. I have the utmost respect for all military members. My husband is now retired, thank goodness. God bless all our military members and their families.

    Great blog!

  4. I wonder how much real history is taught any more and who does the teaching. When I was in high school our teacher had just come home from war, I can’t remember which one. but we had history from the get go. Everyone one had respect for the military because we loved our protection afforded us by our great military. We had compassion for families and friends who lost someone in WWII and even after that. I’ll admit when politics started calling the shots instead of the experienced Generals, teaching history did get slanted. It continues today by teachers who graduated from universities and colleges that don’t understand the freedoms that our military protect.

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