Monday, March 15, 2010

Two More Sleeps....

...until we leave on our trip to South Carolina to see Ryan! Four more sleeps until we get to see him! I am so excited!! And then I get to do this again....
Except this time, he won't have any hair.

He called Saturday night.

We missed it.


Jeff and I had gone out to dinner. Taylor was home babysitting and since Ryan was able to talk for quite awhile, he talked to all the kids. Ryan had a list of things he wanted us to bring for him, which Taylor didn't write down because "I can remember everything. I think." Hmmmm....

As of two days ago, there were 67 soldiers who were not graduating because they had not passed their Physical Test. Thankfully, yesterday they were given another opportunity and all but 13 passed. We are still amazed that God gave Ryan the strength to pass his while recovering from pneumonia.

My dad sent me this and it has probably been circulating the internet, but I wanted to post it. I don't know the author...just know that I didn't write it. :)

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read, perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.

'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan .'

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time..

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base.'

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill.

'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it.. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said, 'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand.

With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch.. It was an act of kindness I never forgot..' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You...'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ' United States ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'

~Freedom Isn't Free Somebody Paid~


Lori said...

I absolutely love that sack lunch story. I heard it a while back but it was great to read again.

I'm SO happy you get to see Ryan SOON!! You must be leaping for joy!

Ally said...

What a sweet story! I will keep you all in our prayers as you are traveling.

Kim K. said...

Prayers while you travel. I can't wait to see pictures. What a beautiful sack lunch story. I hadn't read that before. I needed a tissue warning first. Thanks, Karin.

sara said...

Karin, that was so good!!! It has really touched my heart today. thx.

I am very excited for you...I know the anticipation that goes with seeing your first child for the first time after many months.....they "feel" like your baby when you hug them, but they "look" like a woman/man now. I will be praying everything goes smoothly!!

Dana said...

2 more sleeps....2 more sleeps......

I am so excited for you guys!

Sharon said...

How exciting to be so close to seeing Ryan! Hope you have a wonderful time together. Also, loved the touching story!

Adeye said...

LOVE that story!

Wow--you are soooo close now to seeing your precious boy. So happy for you. I can't wait till you post happy pics of your time together.

Cari said...

So excited for you to see your son again! I can't wait for those posts!!!! My boys received a letter back from Ryan's "buddy" at boot camp. They were so proud to have a letter from a soldier. Thanks for letting us have a chance to brighten someone's day. :)

trustandobey said...

Wow! I love that Karin! That story gave me chills! So excited for you and the family! Seems like just yesterday we were praying for Ryan as he LEFT for bootcamp. He made it safe and sound (praise God)and we all got to be a tiny part of it...awesome!

Elaine said...

Karin I remember that feeling! But that sleep part probably won't happen! Enjoy and give him lots of hugs and love. Elaine Marine Mom