Today I picked up the wrong lunch on my way out the door. I was on the road for my day job and I picked up a brown sack with what I thought contained two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My loving wife makes me two of these lovely sandwiches most days on Monks Bread and throws in a sliced orange or other piece of fruit. Following my morning meeting and as I climbed back into the vehicle which would take me back to my normal assignment I reached into the bag for a sandwich. Instead of the normal feel of a glad bag covering a couple of slices of bread, I was greeted instead with a wrap. I thought, “we must be out of bread.” Sometimes my wife improvises and I’ve had PB&J’s on hamburger rolls and other bread stuffs. Upon further investigation I discovered not an orange, but container of yogurt. I discovered that I had the lunch of my daughter who is home for the summer.
I had a decision to make. I decided to stop at the McDonald’s in Cuba, New York on my way home and grab a sandwich. On my way into the restaraunt I spied two members of our U.S. Army eating lunch there too. After getting a quarter pounder with cheese and settling into a seat next to the soldiers, I asked them if they were recruiters. They were. I noticed an airborne patch on of their shoulder and sure enough one of the young men was a member of one our airborne regiments. They asked if I was interested in joining. I told them I’d already served during the Vietnam conflict as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy. They said, “thank you sir, you helped pave the way for what we do today.”
As I finished my burger I watched them and thought of how much I pray for our military each day and how much I would love this war to end. I vehemently disagree with our policy in Iraq and Afghanistan but I love these fine young men and women who serve our country. There are none finer. They are sacred souls who put their lives on the line in places they’d rather not be. Many of them will never return home, others will be scarred for life.
When I finished my lunch I rose to leave and as I was leaving I stopped at their table. I extended my hand to each of them and with eyes filled with tears I thanked them for their service and told them that I prayed for them everyday. Both of them smiled and one of the young men said, “thank you sir, we feel your prayers everyday.” May God bless all soldiers and sailors everywhere and protect them and those they fight from harm. May the holy spirit protect all of them from harm.