Angel Flights

Angel Flights

A little bit of history behind Angel Flights if you did not figure out via pictures already, Angel Flights are the U.S. Air Force planes (C-130’s) used to fly home our Fallen Soldiers.

Angel Flight is also their call sign. Also, Angel Flights have top priority in U.S. Airspace – as you saw the Towers say “number 1 for landing/takeoff” …

Now, of course, there are other flights that have an even higher priority, but about other standard military flights, Angel Flights get number 1 priority.

“Heroes” – another term frequently used in the video is the term used to describe our Fallen Soldiers.  An angel flight is the saddest way to end our time in Iraq, because “angel flight” means that the plane is carrying a “fallen angel” — a young man or woman who has died and is going home.

In moments of reflection, we think of very golden images. I swear that if prophecy has an angel, then, as I climbed on board the C130 through a narrow door wearing body armor and carrying two bags, the scene inside the hold of the plane truly took my soul away. Imagine an empty plane, stripped bare. No seats, nothing. At the end is a coffin, tied down, with a flag covering it. A beam of sunshine shines through the only window on the side of the plane, and the beam lands on the coffin exactly.

Above the coffin, another flag hanging proudly lit up by the spill of light on the coffin. I stopped, just plainly stopped, and realized that a young soldier was going home a “fallen angel,” and I thought of the wife, mother, father, brother, or sister who would watch their angel carried off the back of a plane in the next few days. We all know the image. We have all seen the pictures, and have heard words of bravery as they carried the flag-draped coffin off the back ramp. Some people use the image of dead soldiers in body bags to describe how bad the war is going, and how the pundits in Washington do not want to talk about war casualties. These people have never sat alone in the hold of a plane looking at the rays of sunshine reflected on a coffin.

As we flew back into Kuwait, the rays of light changed and altered, but in the entire flight of just over an hour, the Sunbeam rarely left the angel. In the last minutes of daylight, we landed in Kuwait, and an honor guard lined up and slowly saluted as they carried the coffin out of the plane. I do not know the name of the soldier, sailor, or Marine who was in the coffin. I do not want to know; it would not have made any difference.

Angel Flights

But an angel did cast a sunbeam on a fallen angel the whole way home.

Angel Flights

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