A true Christmas story

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Lt. Col) Michael Martinez
  • 162nd Chaplain's Office

About 20 years ago a local news channel here in Tucson had a segment called Wednesday’s Child.  It featured children who were looking for a Big Brother or Big Sister and I will never forget this particular story featured during the Christmas season that year.  

The child chosen was a young boy about 10 years old.  The news crew discovered that he wanted to be a fireman when he grew up so they took him to a local fire station to conduct the interview.  He got to dress up in an actual fireman’s uniform and ride around the neighborhood in the fire truck with his new found fire fighter friends. 

The reporter then interviewed the boy in the fire station while he sat there in his baggy fireman’s uniform.  Having just experienced a tour and truck ride with his heroes, he sat there just beaming with joy in all his radiant glory.

Christmas was just days away so the reporter asked him, “If you could have 3 wishes for Christmas what would you wish for?”

“Well, I wish I could have my dad,” the boy responded.

I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart when I heard his answer.  No explanation was given for the circumstances concerning his father.

Noticeably touched, the reported then asked him about his second wish.

“If I can’t have my dad, it would be great to have a Big Brother,” he said.

I immediately began to think, hey this kid isn’t asking for the latest electronic gadgets, toys, or anything else I thought he would ask for.

The reporter’s eyes said it all as she marveled at his answer and she asked, “what about the last wish?”

“Oh, that’s easy.  I would give that one to my mom,” he said.  

Tears trickled down my face and I sat there is awe.  This child was asking for something no child should have to ask for, he was asking for someone to love him.

For Christians, Christmas is a celebration of God’s gift of unconditional love found in his son Jesus.  Whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, any another faith tradition or nothing at all, we can all choose to care for one another.  We can all choose to look out for one another.  We can all choose to be there for one another.  All of us can love if we choose to and I believe that a good Wingman chooses all of these.

I pray that all of you have a happy and blessed Holiday season.

If things aren’t going so well, we have a lot of resources to help in times of need.   Please don’t hesitate to contact the Chaplain’s office at 520-295-6217 or 520-850-9075.  Our Director of Psychological Health, Sarah Warner, can also be reached at 520-295-7315.