As we were coming home from our vacation on Saturday morning, I was sitting in the Dallas airport and witnessed an exchange that got my mind going. There were two men dressed in the same military uniform, desert camo. One man was missing an arm and had noticeable scars on his face. He was holding onto the arm of his wife and they were walking along slowly down the corridor. The other man was younger and more fit. He was healthy and walked with confidence, quickly in the opposite direction.
As I watched, they passed each other. The exchange was worth a thousand words though not a word was spoken. The younger man looked directly at the older man and nodded. The older man nodded back. I couldn't help but wonder what was running through each man's head in that moment.
I wondered if the younger man's heart was covered with a wave of fear at the reality that his service to our country could render him disabled. I wondered if he prayed that he could keep all his body parts. I wondered if he appreciated being able to carry his own bag, as he went on his way. I wondered if he thought of his wife and hoped that he would never have to hold on to her arm to maintain his balance.
I wondered if the older man prayed that this young man would be covered and protected during his time overseas. I wondered if he thought of himself, as a young man, just entering the service. I wondered if he knew then what he knows now, would he have still enlisted? I wondered at his wife, who sent a healthy husband off to war and welcomed back a man with missing body parts and post traumatic stress syndrome. My guess is that she was grateful he returned at all and was happy to walk slowly beside him.
As I watched the men walk further from each other in the opposite direction, I wondered if they both looked at their fellow travelers, their fellow Americans and felt like it was or would be worth the sacrifices to protect these people.
If you have sacrificed for our country, whether you are in the military yourself or a family member of someone serving in the military, I just want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You inspire me to be more thankful, more generous and to try to live in a way that is worthy of your sacrifices! May God bless you.