we celebrate this day. Back in 2005, I was following the Bucs online (and getting ribbed mercilessly by the Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox, and Indians fans I was serving with) in Where-the-heck-is-stan. We suffered a tragic loss when a Chinook went down in a dust storm. Sometimes, just getting on the wrong helicopter can make all the difference. Our legal office lost a young para-legal who was going out to remote bases to assist Soldiers (and any attached folks from our sister services) with wills, powers-of-attorney, and such. Military specialists who were going to repair commo, solve pay problems, or check on medical conditions, as well as three Brown-and-Root contractors, were also lost. A community in Italy awoke that morning to find they had lost over a dozen fathers, husbands, neighbors, and friends.
The days of athletes returning from service are mostly gone - there won't be many more Yogi Berra's coming back to talk about his service in (I believe) the Navy, or Ted Williams, who served in the Marine Corps. But thousands of service men and women keep a part of their home life alive every day by reading about their favorite team, or their home town, on sites like Bucs Dugout.
So here's a shout out to any and all long-suffering Bucs fans serving at home or abroad, or accompanying and supporting their loved ones who are doing so, aboard the ships at sea and in strange places far, far awy.
If you're a vet or wish to remember a vet in your family, please add a comment.
U.S. Army (Ret) 1984-1988, 1991-2007
Virginia Army National Guard 1989-1990