Many of us have shared our family members with this country as they have served with the military in one capacity or another. There are those of us who have been military members. Some have served briefly while others have made it their life’s work. Whichever way these men and women have chosen, each American has benefited from their honorable service. There are times when I wonder about some of these who have helped to keep our country free.
One time I wonder is when I travel down a street in the city of San Angelo and I see not only the American flag briskly blowing in the breeze but under it just as proudly lifted by the winds is a POW/MIA flag. Since I frequently go by one particular house whose flag pole often has both flags fluttering, my imagination goes a little like this: I make a purposeful trip to that house, stop my vehicle, get, go up the walk, ring the doorbell, and hope the people who live there answer the door with open hearts. I deeply desire to know the story of the person behind that POW/MIA flag so I imagine asking them about it. So far I have not been bold enough to do that but I have already conjured up in my mind that this particular flag represents a Vietnam Veteran, possibly the brother of the man who lives there.
One day as I drove by, imagination intact, the man was out with a boy who was probably new at being a teen. That day I decided that the homeowner might be the uncle of the boy and had him visiting in order to help fill the empty place caused by the POW/MIA’s absence. Or maybe, the teen is the son of the homeowner and his dad is helping him learn to remember the fallen. They were working in a flower garden and I felt it was to honor the loved one who wasn’t there. Now, a couple of years later, each time I pass by that flower garden, my mind’s eye sees the man and the boy working together and I wonder some more.
I also wonder about this draw that has my mind so wrapped up in wanting to know. Deep down inside I am sure it is because the flag represents a person who left hearts at home and whose presence is loved, missed, and will never be forgotten. Isn’t that something each one of us would like to know when we are gone from the presence of those we love? Would this POW/MIA be any different?
The white-on-black flag tells us that it is obvious that this POW/MIA has not returned…or, here goes my imagination causing me to wonder again…is it possible that our flag person was a POW/MIA, who continues to fly that flag as an honoring remembrance of those who didn’t make it back?
I wonder.© Marilyn Sue Moore 4-19-05