This past Sunday, I had three young gentlemen (using that term quite loosely) as my escorts. My grandsons, Death and Destruction and a neighborhood boy who is their friend.
After church, I was on a quest for a kerosene heater. I knew of someone who was having trouble keeping their house warm in this record cold blast and thought I could get one for them. We went to Lowe’s, but the clerk just laughed at me when I asked where they were.
‘They WERE on that empty shelf over there, lady. Did you notice the cold spell we had last week?’
It just never occured to me that they would be sold out. I mean,really! It was hotter than the hubs of hell last summer, but there were still fans for sale at the end of the season. Oh, well.
So we moved to Wal Mart in our quest to purchase a kerosene heater. 'To dream, the impossible dream...'
Same story at WalMart. Giggles, followed by an offer to give me $10 if I could find a kerosene heater for sale anywhere in Southeast Huntsville. Who knew?
As we were making our way up the aisle, my oldest grandson gasped and clutched his heart. (he can be quite dramatic...wonder where THAT comes from?) I followed his line of vision and saw two soldiers near the hardware aisle. This particular grandson-lets just call him Death, is also known as Camo Boy. He adores camoflauge. Nobody knows why…he just thinks it is cool. And, it is, I suppose if you are almost 12 years old and live in rural Tennessee. 'Grandmother, can you even imagine being able to wear camo every single day?'
(Yes, my darling. I can imagine!)
As we got closer to the soldiers, my other grandson, Destruction-also known as Boy Wonder-although I have no good explanation for that nickname,(and his Granddaddy calls him Boy Blunder on occasion) asked me why soldiers always had buzz haircuts. My quick answer,“Its regulation” was repaid with three of those ‘You must be talking in Latin because I didn’t understand that’ looks. About that time, we caught up to the two soldiers.
So, I said, “Excuse me, Sergeant. These gentlemen would like to know why soldiers always have their hair cut so short. Can you tell us why?”
The Sergeant bent down and looked them in the eye. Handsome young man, he was, and as if he were briefing the Joint Chiefs, he solemnly told them that it was regulation (HA! Told ya!). But, he continued,it helps on the field of battle if everyone looks as much alike as possible, so that the enemy can't distinguish one soldier from another.
The boys were mesmerized by the handsome young man who took the time to explain something to them, and to do it in such a manner as to make them feel very important.
He talked to them for a few minutes and then shook hands with all three of them. He then took my hand and simply said, “M’am.” I held onto his hand and thanked him and his companion for their willingness to talk to my boys. I told them more than that, I was deeply grateful for their devotion to duty, honor and country. I told him that my family prays for our military members daily and that we would pray especially for them and their loved ones.
He got teary when he thanked me. As we walked away, I turned around and said, “God Bless you.” He nodded and said, “God Bless you and yours as well, M’am.”
The boys were so excited. I heard Camo Boy say, ‘Wow! Imagine getting to wear camouflage every single day.” Boy Wonder exclaimed, ‘Wow! We talked to real live army guys.” Grandmother prayed, 'Wow! What find young men and women we have in America! Dear God, please lead my boys to be so fine and to be willing to serve, should the call arise. Keep them safe, but make them willing. And, Dear God, please bless these two Army Guys and their families.'
I didn’t ask the names of either of those two soldiers, and was much too busy watching them interact with the boys to look at their nametags.
As we got in the car, Camo Boy asked me how I knew that the Army Guy (we really have to work on the term ‘soldier’) was a Sergeant. I explained that you could tell by the insignia on his uniform and promised that we would look it up and print it out for him to study.
So…to the Army Guys-Soldiers- at WalMart on Sunday who were so kind to my boys, I say thank you. You are part of what makes America a great nation. God Bless and keep you in His care.