Thursday, May 15, 2008

And Then There's Army Strong!

In the morning James is driving away. Yes, he's even taking all his socks and Legos -- but the Legos aren't for James. James is going to visit his big brother Andy in Dayton, Ohio before he reports to Fort Knox, KY. The Legos are for the granddaughter.

Two years ago James (while still a college student) went to Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. The third and final week of jump school is called "jump week", when the trainees complete five parachute jumps. On his third jump James's eyeglasses were blown off his face when he exited the aircraft, so his fourth jump was from a fuzzy-looking airplane, and he landed on a very fuzzy world. Amazingly, the morning after that fourth jump a sergeant called out to the troops, asking if anyone had misplaced some spectacles. Sure enough the sergeant had somehow come across James's specs in the tall dry grass of that mile-long drop zone.

But prior to that fourth jump, while spectacle-less James was waiting to board a C-130 for that second jump, someone (unbeknownst to James) had filmed him and his fellow trainees in the hangar at Lawson Army Air Field. Perhaps you're thinking, "So if this filming was undetected by your visually impaired son, how do you know the filming happened?"

Well, I'm glad you asked. As always, there's a story behind this.

It so happened that few months after James completed Airborne School we were in a movie theater, watching those advertisements they play before the start of the film. This really great Army recruiting short appeared on screen. It had a really catchy little tune and inspiring pictures. We were impressed with how well produced the ad was. We later found the ad on YouTube and played it over and over and over. James said he thought he recognized one of the people in the add, so he did a freeze-frame and sure enough, this little lady in a helmet who turns her head to look at the camera was someone he'd attended Airborne School with. And upon studying the other folks in the frame he recognized a couple of his other buddies from Airborne School.

And then (surprise! surprise!) he recognized himself ... and in the film he's not wearing the glasses he wore while at Airborne School. So without any doubt, that two second clip of the Army recruiting ad was filmed on June 21st, 2006 -- between James's third and fourth jumps.

Here's the screen-capture from James's two seconds of fame:

And here's the entire recruiting film. (If you want to freeze the frame yourself, the shot of James and his buddies comes up about a minute into the ad, right after the dust storm.)

So despite James's just starting his military career, he's appeared in an Army recruiting film for well over a year now.


jennifer said...

The video made me cry for some reason.

I love this country Bob, and I love your son for serving it. He is in my prayers.

One of my kids' karate teachers is leaving for Basic next Wednesday. After we told him good bye tonight, I cried. He is a good kid and his choice to serve is so noble. I love him for teaching my kids to protect themselves through martial arts and I love him for protecting us all through his Military service.

I guess maybe as a Military family, this probably looks different to you than it does to me. I find it amazing when our boys sign up and I think that our Military are heros!

Take care Bob. Thank you for raising a Warrior.


Roses said...


Jerry said...

It is hard to believe that it was more than half a life ago when I raised my right hand and swore to defend the US from all enemies, foreign and domestic. (An oath that has never been rescinded.)

Where have the years gone?

James, his cousins, and all of their comrades in arms are in our prayers.

LadyBugCrossing said...

That is SO COOL!!


buffi said...

Yay, James! Of course, he could have followed his even smarter brother's choice and joined the USAF, but we'll love him anyway. At least he didn't go Navy! ;)

I'm praying for safe travels for James!

Bob said...

I just checked this post from work and noticed that the red circle around James's face doesn't show up very well on this display. If you don't see the circle, then James is the one directly above the young lady who glances toward the camera.

James and I visited last night as I was posting this and he told me something funny about this video. After James recognized himself in the clip, he showed it to some of his ROTC buddies. One of them commented, "Wow, that's a really neat commercial - makes me want to go out and join the Army. {pause} Oh, wait. I already did that."

ShalomSeeker said...

Okay, it really was a great commercial. I actually had the thought, "I wonder if I could do that... I'd love to be part of something like that." And truth be told, I would love it. I love what our military stands for; I love the patriotism, and I LOVE those men and women for being willing to lay it all on the line for me and for freedom. I don't think that it is God's call on my life (but due to recent changes in policy, I still have about 18 months to decide, *wink*), but I thank God (and that's not a phrase I toss around; I mean that) for those who are called...especially for my myriad uncles and cousins who have taken that oath. Know that He will remain much prayed over from this end.

Thanks for sharing...and for giving.

Bob said...

I know it's "chauvinistic" of me, but the service is no place for you ladies. America doesn't need to hide behind the skirts of its tender gender.

Let's not be bad-mouthing the Navy. My brother Roy has a son who's a sailor. And he has another one whose an airman in the reserves, and yet a third who's a soldier -- Hoo-Ah! (oops, mustn't show favoritism). So Roy can only speak ill of the Marines. BTW, Roy's soldier is an E7 who's just arrived in Iraq, so he's the one who can put your prayers to best use. I figure my boys (by being in the Army and AF) are holding to family tradition -- my dad was Army Air Corps.

Thanks for sharing. And thank you for the prayers.

LBC & Roses--
My sentiments exactly.

Do keep in touch with that karate teacher. Just a note every so often means so much.

jennifer said...

Really hard to type a return comment when I am laughing with tears running down my face. THANK YOU Bob! Your comment was the absolute BRIGHT spot in my day.

I thought about you and that Joyce Lady today. Sent prayers up before the throne for y'all!

And yes, We will be in touch with Charles. I know you pray for our Military, and one of those young men is named Charles and he is a great kid. No. He is a great man. Can't be called a kid anymore.

Love in Christ!


PrimoDonna said...

Bob, I like your blog more every day. Besides bringing back memories of my own childhood, you make me miss being associated with the Army. After being an Air Force brat for 12 years and an Army wife for 22 more and working civil service for the Army for 21 years, I love to hear about the military. Since we move away from Fort Hood, it surprises me how much I miss being around all things military. I liked the ad, but it doesn't show the long hours and hard work that soldiers go through. But I guess they don't want to show that in a recruiting ad. Oh, you know that U.S. Army symbol with the star that is shown at the end of the ad? We have one on the rear window of our car with the word RETIRED at the top.

Bob said...

Do keep us posted on Charles.

Yeah, we have one of those stickers too -- right next to the two blue stars. Go Army!

And in case Andy's reading this, "Go Air Force!!!" My first-born son, right now the focus is on James because of the swirling emotions surrounding empty-nesting, but I am so proud of all you guys. I just don't tell you as well or as often as I should.

ShalomSeeker said...

Uncle Bob - Maybe I could just marry in, then. ;-)

Bob said...

Absolutely! There's no nobler calling than military wife, but that calling requires great self-sacrifice (probably more than that of the husband in service), so count yourself blessed if the Lord spares you that duty. But count yourself honored if He grants you that burden.

Mrs. Who said...

How proud both you and your son must be!

When I was in the military (3rd generation, first female of the family) our flight at basic was made-up to look like battle-victims for some manual.

Wish I could find it.