Remember 'Why We Fight' This Memorial Day
(May 31, 2010)
This bulletin board, featuring the words, "Why we fight," is in a
380th Air Expeditionary Wing building at an air base in Southwest
Asia as shown on May 30, 2010.
SOUTHWEST ASIA (5/31/2010 - AFNS
There's a small bulletin board just down the hall from my
deployed office that has a simple sign above it that reads,
"Why We Fight."
Placed on the bulletin board are a collection of
miscellaneous items put up with mismatched push-pins. One
item is a desert-colored U.S. flag patch. The patch is
normally worn on a desert-colored flight suit by aircrew
members. In my deployed wing, there are hundreds of aircrew
members who carry a similar patch when they fly on combat
missions over areas like Afghanistan and Iraq.
I have no doubts that each aircrew member who wears the flag
wears it with the utmost pride. My best guess is the patch was
placed on the bulletin board in honor of all the aircrew members
supporting missions every day.
Another item placed on the board is a hand-made paper bag
decorated by a child. There is nothing written that shows
the age of the child, but here is what it reads: "Thank you
for all you've done for us. We really appreciate it. We love
what you are doing for us. We love you! Again thanks for all
you've done. Be careful. Be safe. Love, Jessica."|
The note Jessica wrote on it is addressed to any deployed
service member, but it does get the point across, hence why
it earned a place on the bulletin board. It also binds with
the many other items tacked on to the board: photos of
All of the photos on the bulletin board of family members
are those of children. They are representations of future
generations of Americans. I even put a photo there myself.
In January, I got a new granddaughter about a month after I
deployed. I got a picture through e-mail, printed a copy and
put it up there so I could walk past it every day, several
times a day, to remind myself that hopefully I will get a
chance to see her when I get home. In many ways it inspires
Other items on the bulletin board are a news clipping and a
memorial service bulletin. The bulletin and news clip, dated
from 2009, are about one person, an explosive ordnance
disposal Airman who died from an improvised explosive device
attack. The man who died had forward deployed from my
current location to Afghanistan.
In the more than five months I've been deployed, the
bulletin, news clipping and the flag patch have been in
their place in the center of the bulletin board, a place of
honor. No one has touched or moved them and I highly doubt
that will ever change because of their importance.
Overall, I think everything on the "Why We Fight" board is
First and foremost is the flag patch. The American flag
represents everything I and all my comrades in arms serve in
the military for. It represents freedom and it represents
home. Wherever I am in the world, when I see the American
flag, it brings me home. I imagine it does the same for
aircrew members as they fly over Afghanistan and Iraq. The
flag and what it represents is why we fight.
The note from Jessica and the family photos on the board
show how much our military family members mean to us. They
sacrifice so much every day. They give without asking for
anything in return. They provide inspiration, support and
love. It's parents and grandparents, spouses, children and
grandchildren and other family who are protecting the home
front every day. Our loved ones are why we fight.
And to those who came before us: our heroes, like Tech. Sgt.
Anthony C. Campbell. Sergeant Campbell is the EOD Airman who
gave his life in service to his country. It's in his honor
and all the other brave men and women who gave their lives
to defend our freedoms that we fight, and fight hard, every
This Memorial Day, I encourage everyone to remember the
purpose of the day: honoring our heroes who have served and
gave the ultimate sacrifice. I ask that you remember why we
Article and photo by USAF MSgt. Scott T. Sturkol|
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News
Comment on this article