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The Arlington Ladies

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posted on May, 30 2010 @ 04:31 PM
On this Memorial Day weekend I wanted to share with you the story of some of our DC area local "girls" who do extraordinary gestures of love and compassion for our fallen servicemen, not only on this day of remembrance but every day ... with dignity and without fanfare.

The Arlington Ladies

These volunteer women are known as "The Arlington Ladies." They attend every funeral at Arlington to ensure, first and foremost, that no soldier is ever buried with no one in attendance, and second, to serve the needs of family members, whether they are present at the funeral or not.

Normally it isn't difficult to get someone to go on record about a noble pursuit. The first reaction to the prospect of a laudatory article is rarely reticence. But this group of no-nonsense women did not jump at the chance to talk about themselves. In fact, they were surprisingly difficult to track down at all. This is probably at least partially because the vast majority of Arlington Ladies are either retired servicewomen themselves or from military families, a culture not given to bragging.

"They don't seek publicity," Army Major Kevin Stroop, a regimental chaplain who performs funerals at Arlington, said. "What they do here is absolutely vital to our mission, but those moments they share with the families and our servicemen and women are intensely personal. The Arlington Ladies, as a group, really are committed to keeping those moments and their work sacred."


Joyce Johnson remembers the drums beating slowly as she walked with her girls from the Old Post Chapel, behind the horse-drawn caisson carrying the flag-draped casket of her husband.

She remembers struggling to maintain her composure as she stared at his freshly dug grave, trying not to dwell on the terrible sight in the distance — the gaping hole in the Pentagon where he had so proudly worked.

The three-volley salute. Taps. The chaplain handing her a perfectly folded flag. The blur of tributes.

And then a lady stepped forward, a stranger, dressed not in uniform but in a simple dark suit. She whispered a few words and pressed two cards into Johnson’s hands.

“If there is anything you need ... ”

Then she melted back into the crowd.

Later Johnson would think of her as a touchingly, human presence in a sea of starched uniforms and salutes. She would learn that the stranger was an “Arlington lady” — one of a small band of volunteers, mainly spouses of retired military officers, who attend every funeral in Arlington National Cemetery. She would read the notes — a formal one from the Army Chief of Staff and his wife, and a personal handwritten one from the Arlington lady herself.

She would learn of their mission: to ensure no soldier is buried alone.

Arlington ladies escort fallen to their graves

I don't have much to add really ... I'm just appreciative and in awe of their efforts and commitment. In a world where others choose to go out of their way to insult the memories of our fallen brothers and sisters, the Arlington Ladies stand as a bright beacon of virtue and compassion.

I offer my heartfelt love and gratitude to them and to all who have served and sacrificed for their country and their families.

[edit on 30 May 2010 by schrodingers dog]

posted on May, 30 2010 @ 05:43 PM
There really is not too much I can add to this either. I have to admit, I am not completely sure why, but I am very touched by this.

Thank you for posting and bringing this to our attention

posted on May, 30 2010 @ 06:23 PM
reply to post by MrWendal

Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Here's some more on the history of these great women:

[edit on 30 May 2010 by schrodingers dog]

posted on May, 30 2010 @ 08:27 PM

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 08:21 AM
You know, you just don't see very many totally selfless acts done any more in this day and age. If they happen, you sure don't hear about it. It seems everyone is always trying to find ways to cash in on their deeds.

What these ladies do is totally selfless and the world needs more of these types of actions.

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