Saturday, May 27, 2006

Air Force Memory


If it moves, salute it; if it doesn't move, pick it up; and if you can't pick it up, paint it. ~ Unknown

I am a proud veteran of the United States Air Force.

I was sitting at my desk. I was going over the Catholic Fund receipts and dutifully making the necessary new entries. Deb, a co worker walks over to my desk and pulls on the sleeve of my shirt. She nods her head twice with her eyes moving toward the door. She left the room. I made my exit shortly thereafter. In a conspirator like whisper she says: “You have GOT to come see this!” I followed her to the Sanctuary and there before our eyes was a Chaplain. He was a Full Bird Colonel in his dress blues. He was jumping from pew to pew waving the Christian flag at a bird that had made its way into the Church. He was trying to usher the little fellow out.

He caught us looking and said to me: “There are really only three types of people in this world: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, "What happened?" Now would you be so kind as to turn on the fans?” I flipped the fan switch and the bird went flying up into the fan, bounced off, and went flying down between the rows of pews. The Colonel put the flag back in place and came to where I was. I found a bulletin in a Bible and scooped the poor bird onto the bulletin. His days of flying had come to a definite end. It was then I realized how profusely the Colonel was sweating. He must have been after this bird for quite some time. He was bald on the top of his head and the sweat just glistened. He had this habit of dabbing it away with tissues.

He told me to bring the bird and follow him. I followed the Colonel back towards the front offices. He grabbed some tissues from a desk and dabbed at the sweat and left the tissues on top of his head in a little white pile. He knocked on Father Ryan’s door. The Colonel said: “Father, Father, come quickly one of your relatives has died!” The Colonel brought the Priest over to where I was still holding the bird. The Priest was a Lt. Colonel and he began reading the bird last rites.

The Chaplains do counseling sessions with the people from their congregations. It just so happened that they both had an appointment that day at that hour. Here we are huddled together, praying for this bird, the Colonel with his wad of tissues on his head, the Priest waving his arms around and going through the last rite ritual. Father ended the ceremony in latin with: "Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen."

The people who came for counseling just gaped at the scene. I think they may well have been in the “What happened?” group. Or possibly the, "We are going to let these nuts counsel us?",group.

Deb quickly intervened and said the Colonel’s will be with you shortly. They finished the ceremony and took their appointments.

I was left holding the bird. I found a box and placed it carefully inside. Later I took it to a taxidermist and had it stuffed. I presented the little fellow to the Colonel at his retirement ceremony. This was a good day!

3 Comments:

Blogger poopie said...

What a story! I got great visual images from that ;) How about the letter C for you my dear?

May 27, 2006 1:50 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Are all you Air Force types nuts?

Gee, what a story. Almost as good as hyena woman and the other rednecks.

May 27, 2006 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the story. Poor birdie. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have added you to my blogroll. Have a good weekend.

May 27, 2006 3:25 PM  

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