I believe in angels, but not the kind in flowing robes with halos. While some might say they are all around me invisible, yet helpful, I know for sure I have seen at least one in human form. This angel is tall and thin. His skin is black, and his head is shaved. He wears camouflage and high topped boots. My son calls him Sergeant Major, but I know he is an angel. When my youngest son chose to turn his life around by entering military school three years ago, one of the first people he encountered was Sergeant Major. As a freshman, he fell under Sergeant Major’s command. This former Army drill sergeant whipped my son and the other members of his class into shape. Before long, their hair was the right length, their uniforms crisp and polished and their posture straight and erect. They learned to salute, to say “Yes, sir,” to stand at attention, march, and raise the flag. While they did, they also came to respect themselves and others and to be leaders. My former rebellious, insolent, uncaring child, thrived under Sergeant Major’s attention. He began to climb through the ranks taking on leadership positions and volunteering to help with special projects. I grew curious about this man who was making such a difference. I first met Sergeant Major at Back to School night. When I introduced myself, he called my son by his last name and nodded his head wisely. “Good boy. He’s going to be somebody someday,” he said. My son? Was he talking about my son? Perhaps there was hope. A year under Sergeant Major’s influence found me agreeing with his assessment. Now, my son leads a company of his own freshman. Now, he is the one to cajole and instruct. My son gets up without being called each morning. He wants to be at school early. There are uniforms to inspect and plans to be made. When he walks through the halls, students of all grades call his name. They look up to him. It is a special treat to go to his school to see him be promoted and watch him work with his platoon. Sergeant Major always makes him call and invite me. When Sergeant Major thanks me for coming, I tell him, “We have you to thank. You are an answer to prayer.” One day, I will tell him he is an angel, but so far have thought better of it. He probably would not understand, but I bet if I look closely, I can see an outline of wings underneath his camouflage.
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