Zipping into the parking garage, I spun into the first space I could find. I jammed the car into park and collected my purse. Opening the bag of wrapped peppermints, I grabbed a handful and dropped them in my purse.
Checking my watch, I jumped out of the car and hurried inside the airport to find my three children. Running late as usual, I had just dropped the teens off at the curb to see their older sister off to college. I parked, planning to meet them inside before my daughter had to board.
My daughter was checked into her flight. I found my trio sitting outside the security gate. We had a few minutes to say good-bye. I hate farewells so I was feeling sad.
Throughout the airport, we saw soldiers dressed in fatigues with huge duffel bags over their shoulders. They too were boarding airplanes but not to attend college. They were headed into combat zones. I thought about their moms and how they must feel.
After my daughter left, we begin walking to the car when a soldier stopped us.
"Excuse me, would you have any chewing gum?" He looked young and nervous. I thought about his mom.
"No, I am sorry. If I had it, I would gladly give it to you. Where are you headed?"
The young man told us. It was a province in Iraq. I told him that we would pray for him. He told me that he would appreciate that, alot, and that his name was Levi.
As I started to walk off, I remembered the peppermints. "Hey, I have peppermints. Would that do instead of gum?"
"Yes, would you have seven?"
I thought that was a strange request and number until I looked in my purse. I had picked up exactly seven peppermints. I gathered them up and handed them to Levi.
"Good-by Levi. Thank you for serving our country. Remember, we're praying for you."
"Thank you, Ma'am." I wished I could tell his mother that someone gave her son peppermints. I wanted her to know that I told him we were proud of him and would pray for him before he boarded his plane. I said a quick prayer for his mother.
I still pray for Levi and the many soldiers who fight every day for us. I think of him every time I go to the airport. I wish I could tell him again, "Thank You, Levi!"
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