The pair I held in my lap stood sharply apart from the rest. There, among civilian shoes, this army pair looked like it was from another planet. I cried for the first time since I received the bag. My tears started to roll down my cheeks and onto the shoes. I took a cloth and started to clean them. Gently, like I did at home after I received them in the post. First, I removed the mud from the soles, then cleaned the rest of each shoe, and gave them a shine. I stroked them, like I did two years ago, and whispered to them: "Good luck! You can keep someone else dryer and warmer now."