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|Local Soldier Gets R & R on Memorial Day
|While attendance might not have been as high as organizers would have hoped at a ceremony on the Knox County Courthouse lawn marking Memorial Day, for at least one Knox County resident, the day had special meaning.
First Sergeant Jack Harlan, Jr. serves with a military unit based out of Fort Hood, Texas currently in Afghanistan, but was in Knox County over the weekend on R-and-R. The Abingdon native and Knoxville resident goes back Wednesday.
Harlan tells WGIL the Memorial Day service might have been the sort of activity he would have taken part in Monday anyway.
"(The ceremony) was awesome. I love being around the veterans," Harlan said. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be where I'm at today. They paved the way for us, for the current military members."
Harlan says he listened with great interest to Oak Run resident and Vietnam veteran Jim McRell's keynote address during the ceremony.
Harlan tells WGIL he listened with great interest when McRell talked about how his and other units just tried to make things go better in Vietnam, because he's been involved with a military transition team.
"The military transition team concept that they have done is actually working in Iraq," Harlan said. "I think we pretty much -- I would say we almost won the war Iraq, if you look at the two conflicts between Iraq and Afghanistan. But that's just an opinion of mine."
Harlan has done three tours of duty in Iraq, and two in Afghanistan. WGIL's Will Stevenson asked him what keeps him going back. His answer: "people like you" -- he says it's important for everyone, including his children, to make sure their rights and liberties are protected.
|06 01 10 by Newsroom
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