Local Story on Soldier Poignant
I happened across the well-written story by Nora Wallace in yesterday's News-Press on Sgt. Michael Rider of the 82nd Airborne and a Lompoc native while getting a coffee. Nora's work is one of the few things I do miss since I stopped reading the News-Press. Here's a snippet of her excellent article:
"We each have saluted a casket, or a flag, or a set of dog tags in honor of someone who has given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation," he wrote. "And when we go home, we won't be able to explain to civilians why we wear a bracelet on our wrist nor will we be able to explain why we walk with our heads high, filled with thankfulness that we have had the opportunity to serve in such outstanding units among America's true unsung heroes."
Every soldier, he said in an interview from his base in Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the 82nd Airborne, has had to go through such a service.
"The general public doesn't get the concept," of what goes through a soldier's thoughts during such a time, said Sgt. Rider, who graduated Lompoc High School in 1996.