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Even though the laptop did work, there wasn’t time to tell all the stories along the way but what had started as a good adventure became great.

The primary purpose was to attend the funeral of General Paul Galentine USAF at Arlington National Cemetary. His son is a close friend and it had been an honor to meet his father on a few occasions. He was a World War II pilot and holder of the Silver Star and numerous other decorations. But when we talked it was about guns and flying and to this day I do not know, or really need to, what earned the decoration..

We’ve all seen services with full military honors on TV or in the movies, but that is nothing like being there. The perfectly matched black horses that pulled the caisson seemed to take their job just as seriously as the young airman who carried his flag or those who formed the honor guard, fired the salute or played “Ruffles and Flourishes” as is appropriate for a general officer.

Arlington is a special place. Row after row of perfectly spaced white marble headstones are mute testimony to bravery and sacrifice. Sometimes it seems as if there aren’t too many things our country does well anymore but honoring our fallen heroes is one we do.

The other part of the trip was a visit to NRA Headquarters and the National Firearms Museum. Sadly we didn’t have time to study everything but the collection is spectacular and firearms from the earliest to most modern are there. They have lots of guns from famous people, general’s guns, and movie guns up to the Barrett .50 used in The Hurt Locker.

My friend John Hall was with me and on the way home we stopped at a famous restaurant in Quanitco, the Globe and Laurel. It has long been a favorite of FBI agents and cops going through the National Academy and, of course, Marines. It is a museum as well for the walls are covered with military memorabilia and the ceilings with patches from law enforcement agencies from all over the country. One of mine is there somewhere because I sent it after my first visit many years ago.

It turned out that a class from OCS had just graduated and several newly minted lieutenants were introduced as was a retiring Marine General. It was a treat and honor to share a glass and wish them well.

In case you haven’t guessed I’ve always been proud of our military men but never moreso than last Friday.
 

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Thanks, Charlie, for sharing that with us.

I've never made it to Arlington. Maybe someday...

In my younger years, I participated in a few military funerals at various bases. The hidden bugler blowing taps always got to me.
 

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Thanks Charlie, I tip a glass to you and towards Arlington.
 

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The hidden bugler blowing taps always got to me.
That would have been my Dad at one time. He was in the Army Air Corp. during WWII then got a gig as a bugler in the USMA Band. He has played taps for countless dignitaries. He still does military funerals at the age of 82. The bugler and the rifle volley are the tearjerkers for sure.
 

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I've been to Arlington twice, once for the funeral of my best friend's father, a VN era Bird Dog pilot and once because I was in town and just wanted to walk among better men (and women) than me.

Just recalling the occasion waters me up some.

Thanks, Charles.
 
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