Sewing Up Uniforms and Sharing Military Experience - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/24/03

Sewing Up Uniforms and Sharing Military Experience

Here on the homefront, hundreds of soldiers wait, watch and wonder. Many are making last minute preparations just in case. And that involves preparing everything from thier mind to thier uniform. We go inside a local sewing shop, where the owner's biggest task lately has been sewing patches on the uniforms of Lubbock soldiers waiting for the call.

Dave Smith, Owner of the Fit Shoppe is no stranger to the death and destruction of war. "I spent 23 years in the military." Some of that time he spent on the front lines in the Vietnam War. Now he's retired but, has found a way to continue his service. "And perfect is the only way. You just don't get buy with a sloppy uniform," says Smith.

As uniforms are sewn Dave talks with young marines. Lubbock marines, preparing for war. "We've been seeing a lot of those guys and we're gonna do anything and everything to get them ready to go," says Smith.

"They say we can go over they say we'll be a combat replacement unit. As far as what's gonna happen we don't know that." Travis Perkins is one of those marines. Today he's putting the finishing touches on his new uniform. You see Travis and his buddy Mitchell have been promoted from Private First Class, to Lance Corporal. "It tears us apart apart knowing that our brothers are over there and we can't get there yet so it just hurts inside," says Perkins.

Soldiers here say they don't know when they'll receive the call to duty, but when it comes they'll be ready. "Our whole unit's over there right now and we just happen to have to stay here and they had to go," says Lance Corporal Mitchell Johnson.

"Our prayers are with our friends over there," says Perkins. And somehow Dave can't help but feel a common bond he shares with these young soldiers as he watches them prepare for war.

"I know in my heart I was just as proud and as happy as these guys that were here. We're thankful we're here and we can provide this but it makes me feel good and it's just one other way to serve," says Smith.

Both Lance Corporal Johnson and Lance Corporal Perkins will be going to Missouri for more training this week, then on to California before being sent to the war with Iraq.

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