I was at that new pawn shop in Monroe last week. After conducting my business I got back into my car. While I was sitting there I noticed a kid of 18 years or so walking around on prosthetic legs. You know darn good and well he had to be a soldier who got his legs blown off by Islamists in Afghanistan or Iraq or ??
I wanted to go up to him and ask him about his story. I wanted to thank him for his service to our country. I wanted to ask him if it would be OK with him to make him my personal hero. I wanted to give him a hug. I wanted to ask him if he needed anything that I could help with. I wanted to get his name and address so I could contact him in the future. I wanted to offer whatever money I had in my wallet to retrieve the item he just pawned. What I actually did was to start my car and drive away. I was afraid that if I went up to him, he would be embarrassed that I had noticed his prosthetics.
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve done something I was truly ashamed of. It seems in today’s world, more and more people are victims, looking for ways to legalize their sinful ways, looking for bigger welfare checks. Instead of taking that route, this young man went out and gave his legs in service to his country. At this point I guess there is nothing I can do. I’ll never see this kid again.
In the many hours I’ve been stewing over this incident I’ve been also thinking about our community. Have we become so jaded, so self centered that a young solider giving up his legs isn’t important to us? Where was the parade to welcome this young hero home? Did I miss the front page newspaper article about this young man and how the community was reaching out to him? I haven’t noticed any collection cups in our stores taking donations to help him out.
Sometimes I’m glad I’m an old man approaching the end of the trail. This isn’t the same country I grew up in.