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Just be nice

Did you have a good Fourth of July? My family had a very nice day. Of course my dogs wanted to run away from home. The morons that keep setting off cherry bombs or something powerful were so prevalent in my neighborhood that they ran out of fireworks and were just outside shooting guns into the air. I try very hard to just be social. Sometimes you find that being social won’t work. That’s when things start to get interesting. I have learned to live with the miscreants who can’t respect each other, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to be like them. Since I have made it a pledge to not get angry, I find other things to occupy my mind. Although, I have also discovered that I sometimes miss things that would have captured my attention in the past.

Just the other day I was walking to the store and I heard a car behind me that sounded so familiar that I had to turn around. I can’t truly tell you why it sounded familiar but it did capture my attention. For some strange reason I was reminded of my Blessed mother who used to give us boys little things that she thought make us happy. Most of the time it was a picture that she had found of the family but sometimes she really surprised us with a little money. I hated taking money from my mom who was living on social security at this time, but I had found that she was really disappointed if we refuse.

Upon my reassignment from Europe, I came out to California to see mom and dad. I knew I was on the way to a very difficult school and there would be little times to write. When I got ready to go back to Georgia my mom hugged me and handed me a silver dollar. “Try to keep this son. If you do you will never be broke.” Pretty sage advice from a lady that says she only went to the fifth grade during her school years. I still have that silver dollar. Now it stays in a safe and I have never been broke because I still have a dollar. Don’t ask me why a car engine sound would remind me of that dollar and my mom, but the feeling was so strong I had to stop for just a moment to assess my feelings.

Have you ever had that happen to you? Just something that caught your eye that has nothing to do with your present situation and somehow you are struck by a pleasant memory? Just the other day I was watching some documentary and it showed a woman wearing a shirt from the World War II era. She was a sergeant. It hit me like a ton of bricks. My daughter had called one day and asked if I still had any of my field jackets with all the patches sewn on. For some reason I had put two of these up in the garage and told her I did have one.

“What do you want it for?” I asked. She replied that she wanted to wear it. I didn’t even ask why she would want to wear it but it brought tears to my eyes. That woman in the documentary reminded me how little has been done to help our present day veterans. We sure have a lot of them that are suffering. As a victim of PTSD, I can tell you that you don’t have to serve in war time to contract this malady. It is a reminder from God that we are not to witness terrible things.

Since I mentioned my government I suppose I should point out that some terrible things were done during the Second World War period. We were fighting two wars back then so we justified our actions somehow and got on with the show. It was a terrible war and the repercussions are still being felt. One of the groups we fought was the Nazis. These were despicable people. They committed atrocities that will never be forgotten. How anybody could call a person “Nazi,” is beyond me. Yet I hear the name being bandied about in Washington like it was complimentary. Civility, politeness, respect and compassion are slowly being erased from our conciseness. Our government is supposed to lead by example but all we get is lessons in being rude. I don’t care who you voted for or if your party is in power or not. This calling each other names has to quit.

Once, when I was in high school, I got into a little spat with an older boy. I was a freshman if I remember correctly and he had a reputation as a fighter. I had written his girlfriend a note telling her how pretty she was. To be truthful she wasn’t his girl at this time but it wouldn’t have mattered. So to make a long story longer he was really angry with me. I managed to sneak around corners at school because I didn’t relish even being hit. However, Wasco was really hot some days and everyone went to the canal to go swimming. Sure enough as all my friends had just left here comes my nemesis. He was by himself and I had my buddy Jerry with me. Fortunately he had not brought his swimming attire so I just stayed in the water. But as is with most things there comes a time to have it out. I had already apologized to him but that wasn’t enough. He just stood there calling me names. I finally had enough and just started coming out of the water. He shoved me once I shoved him back and he got into his car and left.

I tell you that story because it was a very minor thing yet names were called and were, in the end, why a face-off was needed. If someone wanted to fight you for something you said, can you imagine how angry these folks are that are calling names and even the ones being called a name? You can only do that so many times and then you react. I only pray that no one loses their temper. You know, the old saying “sticks and stones…”

God Bless.