snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Inboxer Rebellion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10 February 2010, 06:13 AM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,650
Military Mornings at the Pentagon

Comment: Is this true?

IT HAPPENS EVERY FRIDAY! Were you aware?

Mornings at the Pentagon

Over the last 12 months, 1,042 soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel have given their lives in the terrible duty that is war. Thousands more have come home on stretchers, horribly wounded and facing months or years in military hospitals.

This week, I'm turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who recently completed a year long tour of duty in Iraq and is now back at the Pentagon.

Here's Lt. Col. Bateman's account of a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Weblog of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Website.

It is 110 yards from the "E" ring to the "A" ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a
few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here.

This hallway, more than any other, is the `Army' hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew.

Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area.

The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares.

10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.

A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.

Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden ... yet.

Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier's chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel.

Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.

11:00 hours: Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. My hands hurt. Please! Shut up and clap. For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway - 20, 25, 30.. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts.

They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals. Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly.

There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband's wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son's behalf. No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.

These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years.

Did you know that?

Don't send it back to me, just send it on its way as you see fit.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10 February 2010, 09:07 AM
One-Fang's Avatar
One-Fang One-Fang is offline
 
 
Join Date: 02 November 2005
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,610
Default

Don't they get sick of making their way down that hallway every week?

Seriously, what is the point here? Do they parade different injured soldiers every week? Do you have to have lost a limb to get to be a part of it?

Heck, I have the utmost respect for those that choose such a risky career for the sake of their nation and the safety of folks back home, but I'm not sure what parading some of the injured past ranks of insider people is really achieving.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11 February 2010, 10:52 PM
bufungla's Avatar
bufungla bufungla is offline
 
Join Date: 13 June 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,288
Icon18

Been a while since I've been to the building, but even so, there's a fair bit of this that makes no sense:

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
It is 110 yards from the "E" ring to the "A" ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here.
The entire Pentagon was renovated during the 90s. The area between Corridors 4 and 5 (which was heavily Army when I was there) was re-renovated, as that's where the passenger jet impacted on 9/11.

Quote:
This hallway, more than any other, is the `Army' hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew.
1) "This hallway"? Even assuming it's Corridor 4 or 5 or whatever, there are five floors of a given numbered corridor (thus the room numbers contain the floor, ring and corridor information).

2) Friends who haven't seen each other for a few years? I know the place can get pretty insular, but that's definitely stretching it.

Quote:
10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.
1) The closest entrance to this section of the Pentagon is Corridor 3, South Parking. I can guarantee that they're not holding any lengthy ceremony on the first floor of Corridor 3 on a Friday that close to lunchtime. That's one of the primary entrances to the building, and also the exit everybody uses to go to the Pentagon City Mall for lunch.

2) Though this may very well have changed during the renovation, the first floor of Corridors 4 and 5 were not completely walled in; that is, when you walked from the C to the D ring, you were outside.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12 February 2010, 12:28 AM
Mickey Blue's Avatar
Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
Join Date: 01 February 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17,571
Default

Anybody else surprised this didn't end with some anecdote about how Obama had the event cancelled so he could do a photo op or something? Maybe I'm jaded but the nearly endless campaign to link the two has succeeded and I now think "conservative" when I hear "We love America!".. It saddens me..

-MB
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12 February 2010, 12:38 AM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,650
China

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
Anybody else surprised this didn't end with some anecdote about how Obama had the event cancelled so he could do a photo op or something?
Actually, what happened is that President Obama signed an executive order barring veterans from the Pentagon, then sold the building to the Chinese and used the proceeds to fund an abortion-on-demand program for elementary school students.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12 February 2010, 01:54 PM
rangerdog's Avatar
rangerdog rangerdog is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2002
Location: IOP Soiuth Carolina
Posts: 6,204
Default

Actually this missive is at least 3 years old. I have seen the show;
It is chilling deep into your soul. I don't think they do it any more.

Quote:
Cheers on Corridor Three by LTC Bob Bateman

10:30 hours (local EST), Friday, 11 May 2007: Third Corridor, Second Floor, The Pentagon:
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12 February 2010, 02:29 PM
CannonFodder's Avatar
CannonFodder CannonFodder is offline
 
Join Date: 27 February 2004
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 5,288
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerdog View Post
Actually this missive is at least 3 years old. I have seen the show;
It is chilling deep into your soul. I don't think they do it any more.
My buddy Jeromy got put in WRAMC thanks to an IED that partially severed his sciatic nerve. He got sent through this thing a couple times, and has enough General's coins to buy a smallish house.

I just fired off an email to a buddy who works at the Pentagon now (NGB J-3, I believe) to see if this still goes on.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.