400 Days

Today we had a celebration at work for a young man who works as a technical specialist for me.

We gave him an Xbox 360 Elite and a number of games.

We had a cake made in his honor.

You may wonder what this young man did to deserve the party the gifts and the recognition.

It’s not because he worked late last Friday crimping cable for an event long after all but one other technician were enjoying the weekend.

It’s not because he’s one of the most polite and respectful young men I’ve met nor is it because he’s a solid technician.

No, we celebrated today because this young man is leaving us to serve our country in Baghdad for 400 days.

400 days. In the heat of the desert. In a country where soldiers are killed every day.

This is his second assignment in Iraq. He’s works on the water as an Army boat mechanic running up and down the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

As I shook his hand today I noticed he was wearing a pair of glasses with thick lenses. I asked him if he wears contacts while on duty. He responded, “No, we can’t wear contacts because if we come under gas attack the plastic lenses will melt to our eyes”.

What does one say to that?

I told him how proud I am of his dedication and service to our country. I told him that we’ll be praying for his safe return.

I’m overwhelmed by this kids bravery. He’s half my age but has twice my courage.

When he returns we’ll have another party. With an even bigger cake.

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