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The Heart of a Soldier (standard:other, 618 words)
Author: Pitter PatAdded: Dec 30 2002Views/Reads: 1996/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This is the story of a young soldier and his struggle to live with the results of a bomb he ordered to release.
 



Danny slowly crossed the room and sat on the worn chair at the kitchen
table next to me. I thought how handsome and grown up my little boy 
looked in his uniform, but also how heavy the world was weighing on his 
shoulders. 

“Mom,” he said slowly, then continued after a brief hesitation, “we
aren't suppose to tell anyone where we were stationed last or what we 
did, but you aren't just anyone are you?” 

“No, son, whatever you tell me won't leave this room.” I said softly.
“Perhaps you can tell me without telling locations so you aren't 
breaking to many rules.” I put my hand on his and silently prayed, 
“Lord help my baby, he is carrying such a heavy load. Please help me to 
find a way to lift some of his burdens.” 

“We aren't really at war yet, but we are really killing people, some are
innocent...” He stared out the window, his mind a million miles away.  
“I received an order to fly over this place and drop a bomb.  They told 
me it was all military people and if we didn't get them first they 
would attack our families. I did as I was told and hit right on target. 
 Back at the base I saw the filming of the attack. There were military 
men, but also women and little children. I saw a little one running 
that was no bigger than my toddler Tommy. How can I live with that mom? 
I killed his family! How can he survive with no home and no one to love 
him?” His eyes filled with tears and he quickly looked the other 
direction. 

I rose from my chair, my eyes also filling with tears, and held him in
my arms. “You didn't know son, you were just following orders.” After a 
few moments of silence I added,  “you must find a way to go on and not 
let this eat at you and ruin your life. Perhaps there is someway to 
help the orphans in that area.” 

He stayed in my arms for a few moments, then stood straight and said,
“Let's go back to the family, they came to see me and my leave is only 
for 48 hours.” 

No more was said about the bombing. Our visit went by quickly. Soon it
was time for him and his family to return to their military base home. 
As his wife and son were getting into the car, he pulled me aside. 
“Thank you mom.” 

“What did I do?” I asked. 

“You did what you have always done, told me to take responsibility for
what I did that was wrong and showed me how to go on,” he smiled. 

I gave him a puzzled look and he gave me a big hug. “After I talked with
you, I talked with Janie, then called my Commanding Officer and told 
him I wanted to do something for the children who survived the bombing. 
 He told me he felt the same way so he and his wife are going to adopt 
one of the orphan children. He put me in contact with the people who 
are making those arrangements. Janie and I will fill out papers when we 
get back to base, there is a 2-year-old girl whose parents were killed 
and has no living relatives that we hope to be able to adopt. I can't 
help all the lives I ruined that day, but thanks to your suggestion I 
can help one child and in the process help myself to live with what I 
did.” 

He gave me a big hug, got into his car, and drove away. My baby has
become a very special man. 


   


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