September 13, 2007

Welcoming Heroes in Dallas

First, I want to thank everybody who have posted condolences about my Dad passing away shortly after I returned from Iraq. Thank you, also, to those who have sent emails. Dad had a proper Military Funeral. Navy personnel came out on short notice and MSGT Colton (my radio co-host) was there. Our country is fast losing our WWII Veterans, and I will continue to try to interview them on Talking with Heroes.

I wanted to share with everybody about our experience in Dallas, Texas after we returned from Kuwait...

Major Patrick McAfee of the U.S. Army with the Dallas-Fort Worth Personnel Assistance Point was at the plane to escort us, so that Jim and I could set up our camera quickly and be ready to fill the welcoming events.

Family members and USO and local Dallas Citizens were at the first gate to welcome the almost 100 Military personnel who came off the plane (we have this all on film; Major McAfee and I narrated for those who will be listening on the internet). Next Major McAfee rushed us to the main area where the troops come through. Here there are 75 to 250 or more Dallas citizens lined up every day to welcome our troops home. You have to hear it and see it to appreciate what these great citizens do every day.

Major McAfee again narrated, and Jim was filming so people watching on Cable and on the DVD can see not only the troops and the citizens but also the signs all along the walls. We gave many of the citizens a chance to say why they were there. We talked with children who were there too, and with a lady who was waiting for her fiance to return (later we recorded comments from the reunited couple). We also spoke with family members who were waiting for their loved ones, and received permission to talk briefly with a soldier and his wife. He was holding his brand new baby--seeing her for the first time. It reminded me of when my son-in-law came back on leave and saw his first child, Hayden, for the first time.

We also interviewed Bert Brady, one of the leaders of the daily welcoming activities that Dallas citizens conduct. He has received many awards from the Military and has been interviewed many times. It was a privilege to meet him and all the other supporters personally (he also narrated some descriptions of events for those who will be listening on the Internet).

Later, we interviewed members of the USO staff and volunteers. They do a great job with their Reading Room in which military personnel can be recorded reading a book for their children. They also have a USO Internet Cafe for the troops, offering food, TV, a lounge and more. We also had the opportunity to interview a particular lady at the USO (if my memory is working, her name is Linda) who volunteered to go to Balad, Iraq to open up the first USO facility there.

Keep checking here and or on the Talking with Heroes broadcast pages to find out when these interviews will be broacast!


Outlaw 13 said...

Those folks at DFW are nothing short of awesome. I have had the pleasure of returning home through there twice, and I am not ashamed to say that each time the people who turned out to welcome us home and their genuine enthusiasm brought tears to my eyes.

These are the kind of folks that make this country great.

Bob Calvert said...

Hello outlaw 13
It is always good to hear comments like yours from our military. I am now working on getting all our interviews from Iraq and the Dallas event ready to aire on the internet.
Email me when you get a chance.
Thank you for your service
Bob Calvert, Host