Every Friday……

Every Friday At The Pentagon

It really breaks your heart to know that we didn’t know this goes on every Friday, well at least I didn’t know. Instead, I guess the media feels it’s more important to report on Hollywood stars as heroes. I hope this article gives you a sense of pride for what our men and women are doing for us, every day, as they serve in the armed forces here and abroad.

Mornings at the Pentagon
McClatchy Newspapers

Over the last 12 months, 1,042 soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel have given their lives in the terrible duty that is war. Thousands more have come home on stretchers, horribly wounded and facing months or years in military hospitals.

This week, I’m turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who recently completed a yearlong tour of duty and is now back at the Pentagon.

Here’s Lt. Col. Bateman’s account of a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Weblog of media critic and pundit Eric Altermanat the Media Matters for America Website.

“It is 110 yards from the “E” ring to the “A” ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here.

This hallway, more than any other, is the `Army’ hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew.

Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area.

The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares. “10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.

A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.

Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden … Yet.

Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier’s chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel.

“Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.

“11:00 hours: Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. My hands hurt. Please! Shut up and clap. For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway – 20, 25, 30.. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts.

“They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals. Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly.

“There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband’s wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son’s behalf. No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.

“These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years.

Did you know that? I didn’t.

AP Preseason Top 25

Preseason AP Top 25 2017

1. Alabama (52) – 1,513
2. Ohio State (3) – 1,414
3. Florida State (4) – 1,396
4. USC (2) – 1,325
5. Clemson – 1,201
6. Penn State – 1,196
7. Oklahoma – 1,170
8. Washington – 1,150
9. Wisconsin – 926
10. Oklahoma State – 889
11. Michigan – 881
12. Auburn – 880
13. LSU – 784
14. Stanford – 695
15. Georgia – 690
16. Louisville – 629
17. Florida – 624
18. Miami – 492
19. South Florida – 327
20. Kansas State – 317
21. Virginia Tech – 240
22. West Virginia – 207
23. Texas – 173
24. Washington State – 133
25. Tennessee – 114

FCC Tech License Course

If you have a friend interested in getting licensed or upgrading, we have two license courses scheduled this fall. Links to the FCC question pool are online to help in this quest…

Amateur Radio Licensing Courses at the University of Florida, Gainesville

The HBC on XM/Sirius Radio

From SI.com

Starting Aug. 15, Spurrier will appear three times per week on SiriusXM College Sports Nation (channel 84 on satellite radios and the SiriusXM app) including every Tuesday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm ET, every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm ET, and every Thursday from 8:00 to 9:00 am ET. Last week—pure coincidence, honestly—SI.com ran a comprehensive piece on Spurrier’s best shots at opposing schools while coaching, including the famous, “You can’t spell Citrus without the U-T.”

Soccer victory over Miss State!

Special report on the Florida Gators soccer team by the best source, Gatorcountry.com

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Gators opened up the 2017 season with a 3-2 exhibition win over SEC foe Mississippi State as Briana Solis scored the winner with 1:19 remaining.

Next Up:
Florida will open up the regular season on the road when it travels to Boca Raton to take on FAU on August 18. The match is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.

CBS Bowl Predictions for the SEC

2017 Bowl Projections: CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm

Sugar Bowl (College Football Playoff): Alabama vs. Florida State
Peach Bowl (New Year’s Six): Florida vs. South Florida
Cotton Bowl (New Year’s Six): LSU vs. Oklahoma State
Outback Bowl: Georgia vs. Michigan
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Auburn vs. Miami
TaxSlayer Bowl: Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech
Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs. Kansas State
Belk Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech
Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Northwestern
Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. TCU
Staying home in CBS projections: Vanderbilt, Missouri, South Carolina and Ole Miss (not bowl eligible).

Palm projects the SEC will not send a team to the Independence Bowl, instead sending BYU to play ACC opponent Syracuse.

Congrats again!

Florida Gators head baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan was named the Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year on Wednesday.

O’Sullivan was previously named the National Coach of the Year by D1baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball. This marks the second time O’Sullivan, who just completed his 10th season at Florida, has been named National Coach of the Year. He was first awarded the honor in 2011 by Baseball America.

North Korean Threat?

People in Hawaii are keeping a close eye on North Korea Thursday morning. The Pentagon reportedly detected signs that the country could launch another missile test.

North Korea’s last Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (IBM) test caused global alarm and experts say Alaska and Hawaii could be in range. Hawaii is the first state to announce a public campaign urging those living there to prepare for a nuclear attack.