Ares Breastplate for 19-Year Old Warrior

In March 2009, I  boarded a US AIrways flight out of Boston headed south to Charlotte. On the plane with me were thirty New England kids, fresh out of boot camp. They had been home visiting family for the weekend and in a few days would ship out for active military duty in Iraq.

I cried when I saw them. I cry now just remembering the feeling of being with those soldiers. I changed my seat to listen to their stories. Some were wearing  khaki camouflage and others wore their  hoodies and jeans. “They told us our uniforms were targets for terrorists,” one young man from Quincy told me. He pointed to the back of the plane. “I’ll change in the men’s room, later.”

They had volunteered their lives for mine; their lives for the 19-year olds I taught at Boston University. My students were determined to get jobs and earn money and I was helping to educate them to do just that. These kids were guided by duty to their country and fathers, to their fellow servicemen, to their own future. One boy worked as a valet and said he joined the Army so he could get a better job when he came out. In Iraq he would drive a convoy vehicle. The boy from Quincy would operate night surveillance cameras.

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Two Sisters Do Art

Christine and Pamela Palamidessi

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

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