On our plane flight last week from Atlanta to Dallas, we were across the aisle from 2US Army soldiers. As it turns out the one was a Chaplin. David struck up a conversation with the Chaplin and we learned they these two guys were on their way home. Their home base is Fort Bliss in TX. They were on their way home from a nine month deployment to somewhere – when David asked where they were deployed to he told they couldn’t tell us – interesting! After more conversation we learned they were with a Patriot Missile Battery – very interesting. We talked about what their lives were like away from home and what the living conditions were like where they were deployed and so on and so forth. We made it very clear that we were believers and thanked them for their service! The Chaplin asked us to keep them as well as the other soldiers in our prayers. We promised we would.
As the plane landed we said our good byes and got off. We didn’t have much time between flights, so when we got off the plane we were ready to make a run for it – but as we got our bearings, the Chaplin came over and pulled us to the side. He obviously had something he felt it was very important to share with us. The whole time I’m thinking “we gotta hurry here or we’ll miss our next flight!” but I waited as calmly as I could… then he told us that the guy he was with had just lost his wife, and they were on their way home to make funeral arrangements, and would we please keep him in our prayers! Boy did that knock the wind out of my sails - I almost cried right there! We said we would defiantly say extra prayers for them and gave our condolences.
It seemed so sad! The soldier who lost his wife couldn’t have been any older than his mid thirties! Way too young to lose a wife and defiantly it seemed unfair that she had passed away while he was away serving his country. I was again reminded – (and am every time I think of the whole encounter) – that my freedoms which I take for granted DAILY – come at a great cost to many out there. I have vowed to remember not only those particular men in that particular battery but all the many others who are out fighting to keep me and my family safe and free! I honestly haven’t done a very good job of that, and really want to do better from now on!