Anyone who has served in the military is well-familiar with standing at the position of attention for hours.
The formation is the organized configuration of soldiers and the moves and positions are carefully choreographed.
Many soldiers have even passed out while being at the position of attention for extended periods of time, the knees locked instead of relaxed and ready for action.
However, one thing that many soldiers are not familiar with is standing for hours at the position of attention, while holding a perfect military salute.
That takes fortitude, and to do it voluntarily every year to honor one’s country? Well, that requires something else: Immense patriotism.
“This is Rolling Thunder, a demonstration in Washington, DC, that began the Sunday before Memorial Day in 1987 when two Vietnam War veterans — Artie Muller and Ray Manzo — desperately wanted to highlight the prisoners of that war and those still listed as missing in action.
They came up with the crazy idea that a little motorcycle march on Washington might just get their cause some attention.
That first year, 2,500 riders descended on Washington, D.C. Thirty years later, that number is fast approaching a million — but it’s not just the riders who have become a Memorial Day tradition.
Every year since 2002, one Marine — retired Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers — has faced the roar of the Rolling Thunder alone, standing at attention and offering a salute as the motorcyclists ride by.
The noise and chaos swirl around him, but he does not move. He remains steadfast in his salute until the last rider has passed.
For 15 years, he’s held that salute for hours — through bad weather and good — and despite an uncasted broken wrist in 2011.
Even his own wedding in 2016 didn’t stop him from standing his post. In fact, his new wife — still in her wedding gown — took a post beside him.”
Chambers is now known as “The Lone Marine” and he says his mission isn’t complicated. He says he just tries to “catch their eyes and give them the ‘welcome home’ they never got.”
It reminds us of the “Hiking Patriot” and just how far true Americans will go to pay tribute and homage to their country.
This sort of dedication amazes me and restores my faith that the people in this country still respect our military and its traditions.
I am a proud veteran and proud to call Staff Sergeant Chambers my brother.