Well, Kilroy, Veteran’s Day was last Friday, November 11, 2011. I thought of you.
We’ve known each other for a few years now, and I suppose it’s time I pen my thoughts in this personal letter from my heart. You’ll notice that I skipped the “How are you?” and “I’m doing fine,” typical openings. Shallow pleasantries fall like artillery fire at a buck private’s target practice…while empty cartridges litter blood-soaked soil. Forget the small talk.
Time is zinging by swiftly. So, with one eye closed and the other staring down the shotgun sights, I’ll aim at a target of truth. You’ve seen and heard lots of pulled triggers. No one likes the sight or sound of killing. You must be white by the shock of war. I’m preparing for my finger to squeeze the metal tongue, sending a projectile into thick, blackened air. I pray for zero casualties. Peace.
In a great novel I once read, Foxtrots and Foxholes, I discovered the slogan: “Kilroy Was Here!” You were found all over during WWII, on the most unlikely surfaces. Rumor has it that you were seen even in Stalin’s VIP bathroom. At any rate, thank you for your reassurance to my uncles who fought and suffered physical and mental injury during that time. Uncle John Smith lost an eye and Uncle Gene Smith lost his sanity, but surely they knew you were a friend, a loyal American, a patriot, an unknown soldier in the Allied Forces. Kilroy, you were a symbol of the American spirit…hopeful in a time of grim reality. Yet, like the American flag, you were always there, an emotion-stirring icon.
Other emotions, not so sweet, welled up in the hearts of fighting men. Disregarding the national security warnings about keeping up the morale of our forces, some young women wrote “Dear John” letters, breaking the hearts of soldiers or sailors. Yet, the recipients of such mail call correspondence focused on a greater love…that of their Country. Kilroy, I could never write a demoralizing letter to you. I love you, Kilroy, for your contribution to VICTORY.
I’m sure you know about the letters I wrote to my US Army boyfriend. After all, you were drawn and engraved just about every where, even long after WWII, right? I counted my personal love notes once. Roland wrote 61 and I wrote 75 letters while he was stationed at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, before we were married on his next leave. Impressive. I’ve opened those envelopes with four-cent stamps over and over. That’s love.
Even more impressive are the costly love letters God wrote to us. The Bible is full of words expressing the very heart of the Lord. He warned of a vicious war raging against our souls in an attempt to keep us from that beautiful relationship He intended. Writing about our full armour and the sword of the Holy Spirit to engage in our day-to-day battles, God prepared His Church unlike any military tactical unit. Because God loves us, He has engraved His Word on the hearts of those who are in a love/faith relationship with Him. Long before you, Kilroy, God was, and is, and will be. He outranks you in the area of omniscience, too. We all salute (pay homage) to the General of generals. (I hope you don’t mind my speaking for you in this regard, Kilroy.)
I’m going to close now. For another time, I’ve got to read those blood-stained love letters that are bound in the Book ending with Jesus’ words, “Surely I come quickly.”
One final word in my letter to you, Kilroy, but mostly to my fellow footsoldiers in the good fight, “Ready – Front: Right, Left, Right!”
This is no regular army.
Love always, Effie