To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.
Friday, December 24, 2010
This evening while driving on Main Street in Red Bluff California I saw a man standing tall on the street corner holding two signs, SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, and MERRY CHRISTMAS. He stood alone waving at those who honked in support. He asked for no money, or donations.
I pulled over deciding I needed to know more about this man. The man's name was John. John has lived in Red Bluff his entire life, except when he was in the Army. John told me with a smile, "I was in the 101st Airborne back when they jumped out of planes." John served in Korea, he was stationed at the DLZ. I thanked John for his service, and for standing out in the cold as a reminder to be grateful for those who stand for us. I asked John if he'd been out every weekend this month. "Well," John said looking down at the ground, "I've been out everyday this month for a couple hours, except one day I wasn't out because it was raining and my signs weren't laminated yet."
John and I continued to talk, he told me he had friends and family at home, he left them to come stand on this corner with his signs. "I only live 30 minutes away," John motioned with his hand, "Where I have food, warmth, and family. Even this cold street corner is better than Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan any day." John tells of the support he's received from Red Bluff, about how a couple of "kids" who were leaving to fight in Afghanistan, and be stationed in Korea stopped to talk with him.
I left John with a renewed sense of the meaning of Christmas. John was a man, a Veteran who was committed to stand a vigil of support through the month of December no matter what the weather, reminding a town to remember those who sacrifice so much for our freedom.
In a time when I hear from the deployed America is at the mall, while we are at War I would like to Thank John for his vigil, for his reminder to remember what is important this Christmas. It's not what's under the tree, it's those who protect us. MERRY CHRISTMAS.