101st Airborne Division Association's
Massachusetts Special Events Fishing Trip
I received a call over a year ago from a gentleman whom I had never met but knew was going to become my friend. You see, Mr. Dick George and I share something more in common than being from the Massachusetts and enjoying good sea food; we both enjoy giving back and serving others. In Dick's voice I could hear the excitement as he explained a project that he, along with a few others Veterans who live selfless service, had.
He wanted to call it the 101st Airborne Division Association Massachusetts Special Events. The plan was to charter a boat that would allow over 20 Veterans and wounded warriors from New England to enjoy an excursion that would allow them to share in more than fishing; the sharing of memories of their service while bonding together over having something in common that most people don't have the privilege or desire to be part of, Service to the Nation.
Although I had not met Dick in person to that point I could feel in our many conversations over the next few months that this was going to be something special. What I was also learning was what being a Screaming Eagle is truly about. It's not just about wearing the patch while serving on Active Duty in the most recognizable Division in the world. It's not just for those who wear that patch on their right sleeve from serving in combat with this great Division. It's not about the wars or campaigns the 101st Airborne Division has participated in past and present.
What it is about is a pride of all of that and also having compassion for our fellow man. It is about doing something, anything, for others without a thought of what is in it for you. It is about doing something that just might be difficult but the reward of seeing the pleasure it might bring to a Veteran is as they say "Priceless." It is a way to show thanks for their sacrifice and to the sacrifice of their families. It is a form of therapy for some who have wounds that are not visible with just the eye.
The Veterans truly understand that giving back and taking action is a powerful way to thank someone. The many projects they have planned and executed is doing just that making a difference. Those who honchoed this project are the ones who need to be thanked and so I want to thank them for teaching me that being a Screaming Eagle is in your soul, not just on your uniform.
Wayne P. St. Louis, CSM (R)
101st Airborne Division