Submitted by:
Stephanie Gilmore

My 2nd LT army son is stationed in Alaska. He has been there for four months and today he left for Afghanistan. We are like every family who has a loved one being deployed – we’re proud, sad, scared, interested, confident, apprehensive and patriotic. We talked for a while last night – that last time hug over the phone. There is a four hour time difference between where I live and where he is stationed, so when I got another call from him around midnight I was surprised. He told me something that will forever make me feel strong enough to handle his deployment. My maiden name is Crane, my son’s middle name is Crane, and my father is a retired Army Lt Colonel, John Crane. He passed away a year ago during last Christmas. Being very proud of his West Point grandson, some of his last words were to him. Some of them being that he will watch over him – a combat angel. As my son stood on the porch of his home last night, watching his dog play for one of the last times for a while, he looked up and saw a strange large bird circle his house. He watched it circle again and memorized the details of him. “It sure looked like a crane”, he said to his wife. They looked the image up online and sure enough… it was a crane.

So we took this, of course, as a good luck omen sent by the colonel himself. Peace, good luck and health will be with my son as he boards a plane that takes him out of the melting snow and onto the sand that will be his new job as a combat soldier for the United States of America! God bless all our soldiers! Think BLUE!

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