Carlyle Fielding Stewart III

Writings on Democracy, Social Justice, and Religion

The Lonely Soldier

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The lonely soldier keeps attentive watch over the land before her. She gazes out and over her post while sacred memories transport her back  to the cherished company of close friends and to a time when sweet laughter pervaded family gatherings at Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and other informal celebrations.

Her mind goes back to her sweet sixteen , her high school prom  just a few years ago, the dance in the school gymnasium on a sweltering June night that trailed endlessly into the wee hours of the morning; the after glow gathering at Jill’s Diner where spilled coffee, ketschup drenched scrambled eggs, Smuckers jam plastered toast and disheveled, hooting friends ended up on the checkered tile floor because too many of them had had entirely too much to drink.

The memories of home now cascade the shores of her mind and she longs to be back there where the familiar comforts of  warm assuring embraces, tearful encouragements and words of caution and admonishment from over protective parents were as steady and clear and pure as crisp Kansas air in the morning.

And now she stands watch, with other soldiers,  eyes fastly fixed over a broad expanse of land that has no end; a land not completely unfamiliar  to her but a land- a strange land in which she stands for long hours, boldly and proudly in uniform for a country to which she has given an oath to serve, protect and defend.

There she stand; a soldier keeping watch; determined, devoted, unfazed by praise or accolades,  willing make the ultimate sacrifice for her country because she loves her country and her family and her friends. They are the reason that she is there. We are the reason that she is there. Duty, honor and Country will be her mantra as long as she is there. They are the reason that she stands erect in pitch blackness of night, waiting and hoping, and waiting and hoping that the sun will rise again and that her eyes shall behold its resplendent glory and will once more salute its glorious light.

There she stands and waits in silence for Democracy and Freedom to rise above the open horizon. There she stands waiting for news that she will finally go home; waiting for word of the safe return of comrades who have gone out on mission. There she stands hoping and waiting and hoping that she shall once again see the smiling, cheering faces of comrades back from patrol on this side of the ocean and the cheering throngs of home town neighbors and loved ones state side that she has missed so much.

There she stands……a lonely but not alone soldier, waiting… undaunted….. steadfast….. confident…. faithful….. hopeful, ever longing and trusting that one day she shall finally see home. And we wait for her to come home, and the others to arrive safely home carrying the flag and the coffins and the memories of the brave and courageous who would not make it home alive with them.

They wait and we wait.  We wait and hope and pray that she and others of the living and the dead; those who with increased devotion have given their last full measure of devotion shall soon be home.

Thank God they will soon be  home.

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