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Military Monday - March 18, 2013

A military family

Posted: March 15, 2013 5:05 p.m.
Updated: March 18, 2013 5:00 a.m.

In an old family bible that my brother owns, there is a story of how our great-great-grandfather escaped from a Union prison. He was a Confederate soldier, captured and sent to a prison in Illinois. He somehow escaped, stole an Indian canoe and floated down the Mississippi River to an area between Arkansas and Mississippi. He got out on the Arkansas side and tried to swim across and nearly drowned. He was finally able to cross the river with the help of some others and walked to Baird, Miss.

During World War I, my great-grandfather, John Rupert Baird, served in the war in Europe. I do not have much information on his service but I know he served honorably.

During World War II, my grandfather, Lt. Col. John Rupert Baird II, fought in North Africa as an Engineer. I don’t know much about his war time service; he passed away when I was very young and I had no value for war stories at that age.

During Vietnam, my father, John Rupert Baird III, served two tours of duty in Southeast Asia. His first tour was from 1967-1968 with Military Assistance Command - Vietnam (MAC-V). His second tour was with an aviation Brigade 1971-1972 and I cannot seem to remember the designation of the unit. He retired in 1972 as a Master Sergeant.

My brother served in Iraq from 2006-2007. He retired as a Sgt. 1st Class with more than 28 years of service. I have served in Iraq, 2003-2004, 2009 and I am now in Afghanistan 2012-2013. I tell this story because my family has served this nation as warriors through all the major conflicts. I also tell this story because this is a common trait for military families, especially military families from the South. I am so overly impressed and awed by the soldiers I meet here and learn that many of their family members have served in war zones. I recently met a young captain and, while talking, I learned that his dad had been my platoon leader when I was a young enlisted soldier in the 82nd Airborne many years ago. I know the history of this family from my old platoon leader and I know that his family history is much like mine. So, I would like to congratulate and thank all the service men and women out there and their parents and grandparents that have lived the legacy of military service and have keep these country safe from the tyrannical misfits of this world.

We are more than 90 days into our tour of duty with around 180 days left. We are doing very well and stay exceptionally busy here at Kandahar Airfield (KAF). I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes. See you soon!

Hacksaw-6 Out!

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