Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rewind

Its ironic that the object of war is peace. An email from Grant about his experience with a solider on a plane triggered a memory from my plane trip from Denver, Colorado to Ontario, California when I was visiting home in May. I was on United flight 1461. I sat in the exit row in between two older gentlemen. Usually on flights I keep to myself and just listen to my ipod as I daydream.

The guy sitting next to the window was friendly. I can't remember his name for the life of me so I will call him seat 14A. We chatted a bit. During our conversation I learned that he is a pilot that flys a black hawk helicopter for the marines. He's been serving for 20 years now and has been on tour in Iraq before.

I mention that I am living in Saipan. He says he knows about Saipan and where it is. A son of his friend died in Saipan during WWII. I notice a book he is reading on the war in Iraq. He mentions that he is in California for training and asks me if it gets really cold at night since they will be outdoors. We continued to chat about other random things.

Our plane lands and we are about to exit the plane. I turned to him and wished him well as he trains in California. He turns to me and says, "I'm not worried about my training in California. I'm more worried about when I have to leave for Iraq in a month and that I have to leave my family." My heart just dropped. I paused and I didn't know what to say right away. I said something cheesy like take care and that I'd pray for him. I wanted to say more but I didn't. I could kick myself about that situation.

So If I could rewind that situation, I would have said to you seat 14A, thank you for doing what you do so that we could live the life that we have. I should have said that we support you and that we are praying for your safe return.