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Things That Caught My Eye

While waiting in the Chicago airport for a flight to Dallas, I met a soldier named Madison, a medic from Nebraska. He and I were on the same flight to Dallas only while I was headed off to a comfortable hotel to meet friends, shop and eat wonderful food Madison was headed to another gate to board a plane for Afghanistan. He had just spent two weeks with his mother and could hardly wait to get back with his unit. He had sent 15 pounds of candy ahead so that they would have treats to nibble on in the post Hallowe’en, pre-Christmas period. Madison won’t see this side of the ocean for at least nine months and maybe as long as twelve months. We had a great conversation as people walked past – some looked at him with judgement, others with remembrances of their own loved ones overseas. An older woman went past behind us on the moving sidewalk and, seeing Madison, put her hand to her heart. Two women came over to him, shook his hand and thanked him for his service. He’s cute as a bug and very approachable so while he’s a little uncomfortable with such attention, he understands it. We talked about what his life would be in one year’s time when he’s home. Much to my surprise, Madison wants nothing more than to sing on Broadway. He was in award winning choral choirs all through high school and while his style of music is not favoured in the dessert, Madison has a dream for his future. He was in my thoughts today as we all paused to remember those who have served and those who are still in far away places while we go about our lives. Free.