Wednesday, June 22, 2005

An Angel's Prayer

I've never heard from my Marine in Iraq.

As a Soldier's Angel, I know that our job is to provide support to the troops--cards, letters, care packages, tiny pieces of home. Our role is to give encouragement and provide what little respite we may to our fighting heroes. We are not looking for penpals, and we don't expect the troops who are in harm's way to take time away from their all-important duties to write letters to us.

I care about this young Marine with whom I've never exchanged a single spoken or written word. I worry about his safety and fret about his circumstances. There is another goody box for him, packed and ready to hit the mail. And although it is a grim and nerve-wracking task, once again I have finished searching the casualty lists for his name before sending his package.

If you've ever read or seen "Gone With The Wind," you may remember the scene where all the townspeople of Atlanta await news from the battle of Gettysburg. When the casualty sheets are passed around the frantic crowd, there are cries and screams of grief from those who have lost a loved one.

It's a powerful scene that always evokes a shiver and a tear.

Today, I read the modern version of GWTW's casualty list--the internet site for the Dept. of Defense. I work backwards from today to the date of my last package. The press releases pop open, one by one, and announce their sorrowful content to me. Age 19, 20, 23, 26...from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas. Each screen that opens finds me holding my breath as I search the sad statistics for the name of my Marine.

His name isn't there, so his care package is good to go. I trust God will keep him safe to enjoy receiving it.

Prayer to Saint Michael

Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And you, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.