Wednesday, January 07, 2009
He walks in to a room and everyone turns to stare. Some smile, some nod and others come up to reach out a hand, pat on the back or a simple thank you.
There is wondering on both their parts, the stranger wonders where he’s been, where is he going ? ...the soldier wonders Why ? Why me ? Why this act of kindness from strangers ?
The answer is because he is here.
He is here, for a time standing in the place of the husbands, sons, fathers, brothers, nephews and neighbors who have gone on to fight ahead of him. He is the memory of the men that they love, who aren’t here for them to hold, to touch or to say “thank you”. For many of them, he represents the men who will never return to their arms but, who live forever in their hearts.
He is a thousand other soldiers, from a thousand different towns, all brought together into a brotherhood of one. He wears the uniform of one man, but carries with it the memory of all those who have worn that uniform before him.
While on earth the proud reach out to you...in heaven the soldier looks down and wishes for a moment that their loved ones could feel them, reaching out through you.