From: Cissell, Brian A.
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006, 7:10 a.m.
Subject: WHAT A DAY!
All, I tell you, you can never predict what the day will bring. Some days are rough, some are odd, some good & then there are some that you will never forget. Yesterday was one of those days that I will never forget as long as I live. … What happened to me yesterday outdoes all of the photos I have sent and all the stories I have told to you about my experiences over here.
The day started off as any other, planning the mission, briefing it, and heading out the gate. It was about 120 degrees and we had been on mission for about 3 hours. Everybody was miserable and no one in the community was cooperating. It was just a plain old bad day. The kids were the usual, always there to get a toy or candy. I was not in the mood that day to be pleasant, so I separated myself from the group passing out the gifts and just pulled rear security.
I even told kids to keep away, but this one child who appeared to have Down syndrome just kept watching me. Every time I moved, he moved. He was literally like my shadow. I pointed to the guys giving out gifts and told him to go to them and he shook his head no. I just looked at him like what do you want.
Now here is the part that just broke me down. He slowly walked over, looked up at me, stuck out his hand and said, in English, “Thank you for making me safe!”
I didn’t know what to say. My words just stuck in my throat. All I could do was smile and do my best to keep it together. He wouldn’t even let go of my hand. He just kept looking up at me and shaking my hand. I mean what do you do? It was absolutely the best thing that could have happened to me on that day or even on my whole tour over here, totally unbelievable.
I didn’t know it at the time, but one of the other guys had a camera and caught the moment. During de-brief the unit was showing slides on the projector for the day’s mission and this photo popped up. I lost it and I had to walk out of the room. It took me several minutes to shake it off. Unbelievable!! Remember this picture/moment every time the news tells you about all the bad going on over here! We are absolutely making a difference, even if it is only one step at a time!!! I hope all of my last 15+ days go this way. See you all in August. WOW!!!!
Courier Journal Louisville, KY
These stories have to be shared. Our soldiers are the most compassionate, caring, wonderful people and this is just more proof of that!