Tonight when my mother and I did a program at the Veterans Home, we met a man in a motorized wheelchair. He was one of the younger men there, probably in his fifties. He had been in the US Air Force. I have little flags that I bring to my programs but I also have a big full size flag without the wooden pole. When we sing the Star Spangled Banner, I walk around and let everyone touch it. Invariably and instinctively, many older people in the nursing homes and retirement communities kiss the flag or hold it tightly like they are hugging it.
But tonight, I saw real emotion. This man cried while holding it. I don’t know what memory it triggered or if it was just the pride that he had that he had been in the Air Force or was it sadness that he no longer lived at home with his wife….that he now lived with a group of men because of a disability that had befallen him.
Hmmm, crying while holding the flag. We take for granted so many things when we are healthy and able-bodied. We walk and talk and drive and visit our friends and family…….and this man, no……he can not do any of those things any more. Can’t tinker with the tools in his garage, plant a garden, hop in the car for a ride to the shore, hold his wife.
Yet there was a time in his young 20’s when this handsome man proudly wore the uniform of the US Air Force. And we know that it is no small feat to qualify for that honor.
So, I send prayers to the God of my understanding to be with all of those men and women who served so bravely…….and a special prayer tonight for the brave man who felt such strong emotion while holding the American flag. I can’t help but think after watching the video below how tragic it is that his life is now confined to a motorized wheelchair…….He has no ability to move his arms or legs. It is difficult for him to speak but he tried so hard to be sociable and participate when I asked questions.
Hmmm….from flying planes in the US Air Force to navigating life in a motorized wheelchair. I asked the question to the group WHAT DOES HOPE MEAN TO YOU?
He answered I HOPE FOR SALVATION. This man is doing all of his I don’t think he has anything to worry about when he goes on the the afterlife…..no matter what faith he believes in.