Monday, November 21, 2005

Who's Sorry?

You may remember that I was recently assigned my third troop as a Soldier's Angel. I should have mentioned that I received a letter from him early last week.

He opened with "I first want to start off by saying I'm sorry." Yes, you read that right. I struggled with that one for a few seconds, too. He was apologizing for not thanking me sooner for his first care package from me. "I have been busy, it's crazy," he explained.

Stop. Please. You're killing me, Private. You, who set your heroic self between my family and Al Qaeda, are not permitted to apologize to me. Ever. I'm the one who's sorry.

I'm sorry that you're away from your home and family.
I'm sorry that you can't be with your baby at Christmas.
I'm sorry that you're in danger every minute.
I'm sorry that Congress is a bunch of jackass-blowhards just making your days more difficult.
I'm sorry more people are not doing more to support you.
I'm the one who's sorry.

In response to my question about any special requests he might have, he couldn't think of what he wanted. He said my letters and package were more than enough. "It was good to get home from a mission to some goodies," he wrote.

A mission. I shivered. God only knows what that entailed, but it certainly wasn't complaining about the traffic backed up at the stoplight or the dinner not being defrosted. Nothing in my safe and ordinary day would approximate "a mission."

As he signed off, he did think of one item he might want. "Peanut M&Ms." Then he said he had "so much to do before bed," and God only knows what that entailed...and then he thanked me again.

No, no, no, Private. You've got it all wrong. All the thanks go to you. And so do several pounds of peanut M&Ms, coming right up in your Christmas package.