Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lost one of my own last night

I got an email last night. I recognized the email address right away. Hey, I thought, it's from Heather. Heather is one of my former adopted soldiers. She came home in January after a year in Iraq, started going to college, got a job, her first apartment, and adopted a little black and tan puppy that she named Socks, because of the white fur on its front paws. Heather turned 21 in Iraq, and she loved the birthday package that DJ and I sent her. She was always so grateful for everything we sent, but only once did she ask for anything. She wanted small toys that she could hand out to the Iraqi kids she saw on patrol.

I sent her a box full of Beanie Babies, and she wrote how much fun she had handing them out to the kids in the neighborhood. Once, she had the driver stop their humvee, and then hopped out so she could put a tiny bear into the hands of a shy little girl in the back of the crowd, who wasn't going to get one otherwise.

Heather loved kids, and talked about having her own someday.

She was unusual among all the dozens of soldiers that I have written to in Iraq, because she kept in touch after getting home and out of the army. She wrote to me once in a while, told me about her job, how much she loved college, how excited she was to start the next part of her life. That's what I was expecting to read when I opened the email from her account - what's new, what's exciting in her young life.

But the email wasn't from her, it was from a friend of hers.

My friend Heather was killed tonight in a one man car wreck.....


I don't know what to say to her family this Thanksgiving Day, but I'll call. And I'll keep in touch after, because that's what Heather would do.



Post a Comment

<< Home