07 December 2006

An Angel's Duty

In the midst of a group of tired, dirty, sweaty soldiers, there's one who's different because he's mine. It may be his job to load bombs on airplanes, care for the wounded, command a group of tanks, or take prisoners. Regardless, my job is always the same. I'm his Soldiers' Angel. My duty is to send him love.
I have a box of treasures that only sparkle for me. They're letters that came halfway around the world without a stamp. They're from soldiers who are smiling despite all the horror, because they got something in the mail from me. I greet each new arrival as I did my newborn babes. I cradle it in my hands, amazed that I played a part in something so miraculous as a soldier's smile in a war zone.
One soldier's letter says the war has escalated. There was a sneak attack in the barracks. A soldier was hit by very friendly fire. It was all my fault. I sent the water balloons.
Another soldier wrote that his base was hit by mortars. He and a buddy joked about it. He can't tell his wife. She'd be too scared. He thinks I'm not. Angels are supposed to be beyond earthly fears. I recall that after I read it, I wiped away the tears and wrote a cheerful reply.
One day, my soldier's tour of duty will end. He'll go home, leaving a trail of footprints in the sand and a place in my heart that bears his name. Upon his return, he'll stow away his weapons and ammo along with his memories of me. I tell myself that is as it should be.
I will remain on duty in Hell. Odd place for an Angel, but there are thousands of us here. I'll get the name of another soldier who's always leaving mail call with empty hands. I will send him love. And so my treasure will grow.
by Jody Nice Harnish
I wish I could say that I was the one that wrote this. I love her words. How true it is. We are rarely blessed with hearing from all the Heroes we write; those few that can find the time to send even just a few words back touch our hearts in ways I cannot begin to explain. And yet, we Angels soldier on to help the next group... *tissue moment*

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