This is a photograph of my NATO ID card from when I served with the Commander In Chief Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) Band at Naples Italy. Since it lived in my wallet and inside my pocket, this ID card was actually pristine when I finished that tour of duty in 1992, as well as when I concluded my entire 22-year active duty military career in 1996.
The reason it became so tattered is that I gave it to our son, Micah to carry with him when he was deployed and served in combat. He carried it with him the entire time. In 2003, Micah deployed to Iraq with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device for his exemplary heroic combat service. Yes, he was in the real stuff.
The Second Battle of Fallujah—code-named Operation Al-Fajr (Arabic: الفجر “the dawn”) and Operation Phantom Fury—was a joint American, the Iraqi government, and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War. It was led by the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army against the Iraqi insurgents in the city of Fallujah and was authorized by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Interim Government. The U.S. military called it “some of the heaviest urban combat U.S. Marines and Soldiers have been involved in since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968.”
Micah brought my NATO ID card back home to me as he promised he would. After his time in service, he went back to college, finished a double major, and even initially served in a job that provided services and resources that helped vets. They told me that he was a superstar in that work and enjoyed helping other veterans transition back to the civilian society after serving.
I was a musician in the band my entire career and never came close to combat duty. My son is a true war hero. I love him very much and I’m very proud to be his father. We have lots to be thankful for as a family. All four of us are military veterans, our son is a combat hero and our daughter was the very first commissioned officer in the history of our entire family. That’s cool. We are grateful. SALUTE! 🇺🇸
Musings In Cb: “Gratitudes”
PHOTO by Corinna Gray Photography (2023)
Christopher and Terri (Anderson) Burnett established their branch of The Burnett Family in March of 1979 in Copenhagen, Denmark. They are professional musicians, educators, and entrepreneurs based in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.