I had seen the story on the local news, but they did not do it justice. Sergeant First Class John Beale paid the ultimate price on June 4th near Kapisa, Afghanistan, from an IED attack and small arms fire. Also killed in the same action were Maj. Kevin M. Jenrette and Spc. Jeffrey W. Jordan. The story that I saw on the local news reported that a lot of people turned out down in Peachtree City (a suburb south of Atlanta) to honor Sgt. Beale when his body was returned from Afghanistan.
Then I got a tweet today from @KarlRove that linked to a YouTube video taken from inside a vehicle in the procession through Henry county. The streets were lined with people for miles, showing their respect and support for Sergeant Beale and his family. Beale was was serving our state and our country in the Georgia National Guard. Please watch this video, it is long but that is part of the impact.
I am not surprised at this turnout, certainly not in Peachtree City, Georgia. I will always proudly say that these are my people. I grew up in this very culture, only a county or two away from Peachtree City, and people like the ones lining these roads made me the patriot that I am. The little towns up in the foothills where I live put up white crosses with American flags at every opportunity, and not just on Independence Day and Memorial Day and Veterans day, including the name of a local who served, sometimes including the letters POW or KIA or MIA.
I supported the mission and continue to support it, independent of the fact that I have a brother serving in the military who will likely get another combat deployment soon. I love my fellow Georgians for their love and support of this fine patriot. John Beale served his state and his country and would have been a hero even if he had come home without a scratch.
Let us never forget patriots like SFC John Beale.