Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Tribute

I don't know if you will believe me or not, but I was on the subway last night and something strange happened. I can't tell you what city or country, looking back now, I hardly remember myself.

I took the subway that day, I'm still not sure why. I hate riding the subway, hated having to crawl down to the underbelly of the city to ride in some graffiti metal tube. It just has never appealed to me. Plus, I'm afraid of my own shadow or it could be all the stories my mother often filled my head with growing up. "Be careful, go in groups, bad things can happen to girls who ride alone on subways," she'd so often tell me.

I sat with my back pressed against the wall of the subway, hoping against all odds that nobody would climb aboard. I was alone, and I liked it that way, preferred it.

When the subway came to a screeching halt, the doors slide open, and a man stepped inside. He was tall, six feet at least, maybe taller. His brown hair stood up in many directions, his body cloaked with an olive drab battle dress uniform; a garrison cap clung tightly in his left hand, and in his right hand, he held a strap from a canvas duffel bag—the same color as his uniform. It appeared heavy as he wobbled to the seat directly across from me.

Dark discoloration encircled his eyes, and he avoided my curious stare. Was he just now coming home from the front lines? I imagined him tired and weary from his long journey home, and I wondered, why hadn't he arrived before now? One lone tear trickled down his gray, gaunt face and splashed to his lap. I stared intently at the wet spot it created, and I felt the urge to offer him a tissue. I suppressed it though, and at that moment, the subway came to a stop and he rose and exited while I watched in awe.

Don't forget the men and women that gave their lives so we can continue to live in peace.

As for my soldier, he is still making his way home. If you spot him let him continue on his way, the journey is long, and I know one day he will make it home.

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