If we don't tell, people wont know. If they don't know, they will call us liars when we speak of what these great men and women did for their country. God Bless every single one of them and their families, especially this time of year.
Semper Fidelis (pretty much sums it up for the below)
Mercy 10 Fallen Angel
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
By Mal James
December 20, 2006
Ramadi, Iraq — The Air Force flight Chrome 24 took off before we had even landed, which was annoying, given that it taxied past 14 other people without bothering to stop and pick them up, and had left them stranded in Iraq along with us. Welcome to Air Force Air. Such is life in Iraq — you do not worry or even bother to complain, because it basically just happens.
Things like this happen, and all it means is that people work very hard to then make more things happen, and we got word last night that we were manifested on a C130 flight named Mercy 10 — an angel flight.
An angel flight is the saddest way to end our time in Iraq, because “angel flight” means that the plane is carrying a “fallen angel” — a young man or woman who has died and is going home.
In moments of reflection, we think of very golden images. I swear that if prophecy has an angel, then, as I climbed on board the C130 through a narrow door wearing body armor and carrying two bags, the scene inside the hold of the plane truly took my soul away.
Imagine an empty plane, stripped bare. No seats, nothing. At the end is a coffin, tied down, with a flag covering it. A beam of sunshine shines through the only window on the side of the plane, and the beam lands on the coffin exactly. Above the coffin, another flag hanging proudly, lit up by the spill of light on the coffin.
I stopped, just plainly stopped, and realized that a young soldier was going home a “fallen angel,” and I thought of the wife, mother, father, brother, or sister who would watch their angel carried off the back of a plane in the next few days.
We all know the image. We have all seen the pictures, and have heard words of bravery as the flag-draped coffin is carried of the back ramp.
Some people use the image of dead soldiers in body bags to describe how bad the war is going, and how the pundits in Washington do not want to talk about war casualties.
These people have never sat alone in the hold of a plane looking at the rays of sunshine reflected on a coffin. As we flew back into Kuwait, the rays of light changed and altered, but in the entire flight of just over an hour, the sunbeam rarely left the angel.
In the last minutes of daylight, we landed in Kuwait, and an honor guard lined up and slowly saluted as the coffin was carried out of the plane.
I do not know the name of the soldier, sailor, or Marine who was in the coffin. I do not want to know; it would of not made any difference. The respect a son was paid defies my words.
But an angel did cast a sunbeam on a fallen angel the whole way home.