Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Do you remember this photograph? Back in May 2009, Army Spc. Zachery Boyd - a 19-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas - did not stop to put his pants and boots on when the Taliban ambushed his fellow platoon members at firebase Restrepo in Afghanistan's Kunar Province (1st image). The world would not have known he wore pink "I love New York" boxer shorts except for Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder embedded with his unit of the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry. Next thing you know, his butt is on the front page of the New York Times (3rd image)! The candid image drew worldwide attention and elicited comment from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said, “Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage.” Upon his return to Texas on a 4-day pass to visit his family in July 2009, Boyd (2nd image shows his face) said of his fellow soldiers, "They gave me a lot of grief about it, but out there they use anything they can to give a guy some grief." He had actually bought the boxers during a New York layover before deploying and chose pink because he thought his friends would laugh. Imagine the additional teasing Boyd received when they learned that the now-famous pink underwear was to be displayed in the 1st Infantry Division museum at Fort Riley, Kansas!

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