Thursday, May 26, 2005

Compare a 20 Yr Old Marine to a 20 Yr Old College Student

Marine Corps Moms: Sending a son to war

This is a sermon from Rev. Charles Rush where he talks about his 20 year old Marine son serving in Afghanistan. He tells us about his R&R where his son is married (son's wife also serves and is deployed). It's a telling and emotional story but here is one points he makes in the difference between the 20 year old Marine and a 20 year old college student:

My son woke me up before dawn to take him and his wife to the airport. It seems as though I woke my college kids up and it was never before dawn. But he was up, packed, ready to go, and surprisingly alert for the hour because I knew he hadn't had much sleep. He may need money but he never requests it and he has his own insurance too. We were standing around the coffee pot alone. He handed me a file. Inside was a bank account he had opened with their wedding gifts, the name of the teller if I needed to speak to her, deposit slips and withdrawal slips. Just behind that was a power of attorney for me to access his account in the advent of his death.

As we drove to the airport, the car was quiet except for mundane details of daily living. There were no words in any of us. I got out of the car and pulled him and his wife close to me. I wanted to hug him a long, long hug because the fear of death hovered over me for. I was weak and worried that it might be the last hug I would get from him. But I did not do it because I have changed. I know now that what they need from us is to be strong for them and to support them in what they have to do. I kissed them both on the head and said, 'You know who loves you.'

With that they turned and walked away. He still has that shuffle that he had as a kid when he walks. Carrying a backpack with his uniform, I could still see a toddler in footy pajamas dragging his blanky behind him. But he is also strong. He had his arm around his wife in support. And just like that he was gone.

It was raining outside. I felt like it might just be God crying for our beloved country and the complicated war we have with terror. Our tradition teaches us that God wants to heal that which is wounded, that God wants to reconcile enemies and find children which are lost, that God cares about all of the young people involved in this conflict and wants us all to live in peace. If that is true, then God must cry for all of the sons and daughters in this conflict that leave their mothers and their homes on all sides at every level of involvement, regardless of innocence or guilt.

Just reading this over before posting I get the shivers. Thanks Marine Corps Moms for the link.


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