Thursday, November 11, 2010


I had a post for today but then realized it was Veterans Day and the post I had in mind would really have been inappropriate for the day. So I am switching in midstream here for I really do want to honor those who have done what I am pretty sure I could never do—offer my life for the sake of our country.

Every person who signs up for military service does just that. Some fortunately never see battle but the threat is always there. Some serve in peace time--yes that actually exists--often because of the very presence of our forces. Others are in non-combat support roles but they all have offered their lives just as willingly when they take the oath.

Those who sacrifice their young lives for us need our remembrance and honor. However, there is another group that needs it just as much. The ones who did not lose their lives but lost parts of their bodies, suffered damaged minds and for some, forever having to carry in their hearts what they have seen and done. The families of those lost or maimed should definitely be honored. They have made equal and long lasting sacrifices. The dreams for their families have been ripped from them and tossed aside.

War is an evil thing and you would think that after all this time, we could think of a better way to solve conflicts and desires for power. We have not evolved far from the caveman's club. So we continue to offer our best as sacrifices to a cause decided by a few. I long for the day when only “the few” are shoved into a pit to duke it out.

But this is about veterans and I would like to tell about one special veteran I have met. When I moved to Arkansas, I knew no one, but that has never frightened me for I know that friends are just strangers waiting to be met.

I was delighted with my neighbors and in particular, a middle aged man who took an interest in me. Our usual interaction is for him to stop if he sees me outside and for us to chat over my fence. Sometimes his wife is with him and she is also a delight, but it is mostly C.

He is a curious sort and wanted to learn about the new mystery lady on the corner and in turn, I learned a lot about him. C is a veteran of both the Army and Navy, claiming to have been in Special Forces and Navy Seals. I have seen pictures of him as a young man in both uniforms.

He was unfortunately in a horrific helicopter crash during his last tour. C is largely held together with pins, screws and porcelain. He spends a lot of time at the VA hospital getting his parts readjusted. What makes C so unique is what he has done with his life since the crash.

C said when he came to in the hospital, he made a bargain with God. He promised God that if he could just live, he would do one good deed every day for the rest of his life. A lot of us do that when in fear for our lives and often forget our promises to God with the same speed as our New Years resolutions. C did not forget.

He is unable to work at a job, but with the energy he has, every day he does for others. He helps returning vets with all the papers they must go through to receive help. He drives seniors to doctor appointments or to hospitals for treatment.

He is a pretty good cook and he is always baking cookies to take to various offices around town. Often he just checks in on little old ladies like myself. He never comes with out a small present. Where ever he goes, he brings cheer and small gifts.

When I had to have my last cancer surgery, it was C who drove me to the hospital in a distant town and waited to bring me home. I once mentioned how I love the Blues music. He saw a tape of Robert Johnson at a yard sale and got it for me. Often small gifts are just hung on my gate with a note from him and his wife.

So while I will honor all the veterans today, the young who will never be old, the damaged who will have a challenged life, and the families who have an aching hole in their fabric, I also salute the men like C who are a blessing to their communities. He is not alone, there are many like him who do volunteer work every day. My hat is off to that special group of veterans.


  1. What a beautiful posting, Patti. Thank you. C's story is one we should all embrace.

  2. Thanks for telling us about Mr. C. He represents what is good in American. I am happy there are more people like him and his wife, and YOU. People like this don't need headlines to show others you are nice and good people.

  3. Patti, we can always count on you to rise to the occasion, and today is no exception.

    My father couldn't get into the service due to flat feet, but he always wanted to go.

  4. Dear Patti,
    And I take my wool stocking cap off with you to C and all the veterans. I love em all!!!! My Father was right up there, high on my list as being a veteran of WWll. He loved this country more than anyone I know and he soooo believed in it. How lucky you are to know a man like C. Thanks for sharing on this day of honoring service men.

  5. People like your precious C make the world a tolerable and blessed place. How sweet it must be to have an angel in disguise leaving presents and his presence with you.
    Thanks once again for a thoughtful and thought provoking post. You too are an angel. XOXO The Olde Bagg

  6. Lovely Post Patti,
    Doing one good deed a day sounds like a worthwhile challenge... 365 per year... 3650 good deeds every 10 years... Impressive!! It is lovely when a neighbour leaves vegetables or baking unexpectedly. We once had a local farmer in this area that used to deliver meat to people in the village at Christmas time, and sometimes he would surprise people by leaving vegetables for them on their car roof or on their doorstep. Sometimes just a smile can be a most welcome gift too!

  7. Beautiful, Patti. My dad served, my brother served, and now my grandson is serving. They all have my utmost respect.

  8. What a nice post. I was thinking just this morning how different is is today for a soldiers and their families compared to the days of the Vietnam war when we were in the military.

    I feel so bad about the wounded, both physicall and mentally. It is wonderful we have such amazing devices to help them but it would have been more wonderful if we'd stayed out of the Middle East.

  9. You have written the best tribute possible to all veterans. The ones who returned damaged, are in need of respect and help.And you understand it all.

  10. Beautiful... really beautiful.

    We should have linked all of these!

  11. You have a wonderful neighor, Patti and he probably thinks the same of you. Very nice post! My husband is a veteran.

  12. When you write you have an innate ability to speak humaneeze (I know, not a word), blending facts and feelings together while pushing aside fluff and getting to the real thing. They say, if you can’t write it you don’t know it. I like how your writing is clear and gets right down to what we humans feel. Once again you touched my emotions and your caused me to check my selfishness meter. Great post and what a great man, Mr. C.

  13. Very nice and a perfect way to acknowledge the day. Thank-you.

  14. marciamayo,
    Thank you marcia, we do owe them don't we.

    He really is a special man and fortunately, there are many like him. Thank you.

    Thanks. My dad also Judy for the same reason. He tried all the services and finally went to Alaska to engineer airstrips. He was so disappointed he couldn't serve.

    WWII was when men voluntarily enlisted with a passion. They truly fought to protect our country. You can be proud.

    Linda in NM
    Thank you Linda, I feel very fortunate to be on Mr. C's list of people to care for.

    It is a mind boggling feat he has accomplished. It has been over 20 years. That is a lot of people whose days he has brightened.
    Your farmer sounds like a terrific person who had to be much loved.Smiles go a long way with me too.

    My thanks to your three brave men. May your grandson stay safe and be home soon.

    I wish we could stay out of all wars. The ones who profit never hear the first explosion.

    Reader Wil,
    Thank you Wil. The damaged ones rarely get the help they deserve. We need to do better.

    Thank you so much.

    Thank you. Your post was an eyeopener today.

    Mr C is a keeper.
    Please thank your husband for me.

    Thank you so much GQ. I am so very flattered by your comment for it comes from a man who writes so well.

    Thank you. I tried.

  15. Mr C is a magnificant example or what we can do in peace, not war.

    He reminds me of my husband who mows lawns and just finished hauling chopped and split wood [with help from a neighbor] to a retired crippled school teacher in our church.

    No big deals. He just does it.

    He befriended this neighbor who is so opinionated he alienates many. Shelly being of few words, just listens, and that seems all the man wants. He has been very kind and a good neighbor to us.

    It breaks my heart to see our young come back so maimed, but we seem to be better and better and putting them back together.

    The day either political party denies a veteran all the help he needs, I hope this country will finally unite in an outcry heard round the world, especially in countries where these fine men and women have shed their blood.

  16. Great post, Patti. A friend of mine posted to Facebook today "Thank a Veteran".
    I added to it "Every day".
    And I do that. I have a small picture of my Dad in his Army uniform during WW II in my living room and I at minimum think "thank you" and "miss you" every day.

    Here's to them!

    Oh, and I really enjoy Robert Johnson!

  17. Mr. C's story is a fabulous one... Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks be to God for all of those in the Armed Forces (past and present) who fought for our country and our freedom...

    God Bless them ALL.

  18. A lovely post, Patti, and very appropriate for Veteran's Day. Your friend "C" is a very special person. Thanks for sharing his story.

  19. What an inspiring story! "C" sounds like an incredibly special man and it also sounds like he has brought help and cheer to many many people!I salute him, too, and all the other men and women who have sacrificed so much for all of us and for our Freedoms.
    A BEAUTIFUL Post, Patti!

  20. Mr. C sounds like a magnificent man!
    you always find good people Patti, your aura must be so bright and open :)

    the radio show will be available to listen to on the site anytime so make sure to get your beauty sleep, not that you need any :)

  21. Nitwit,
    I had you all in mind also when I put this together as I remember you mentioning your husbands volunteering and that he was a vet.You both do good work.

    I do the "I miss you" to my daddy's picture every day also.
    Glad to meet another Robert Johnson appreciater. Mr. C got me the complete works of Robert Johnson that comes with a booklet. Love it.

    Just felt the need to give him a shout out. Thanks.

    Thanks for stopping by. I will return the favor tonight when you interview Dianne.

    Pat Arkansas,
    Thanks Pat. He really is a special guy.

    You and I have seen a lot of wars and conflicts in our day. We have seen the price they have to pay. Mr. C, as beat up as he is, is one of the lucky ones.

    I am exceptionally lucky if you don't count the men I have been involved with. Poopy aura there.
    Thank for the tip, I'll catch you on the radio in the morning and give my wrinkles a good night sleep.

  22. Honey I can always count on you to do the best post for our Veterans.
    This is just wonderful and I loved reading about C and how he has kept his promise to God. What a blessing this man is to all that know him.
    Yes war is the worst and I hate it with a passion. If only it could just be the ones like you said in a pit fighting it out instead of our young men and women.
    My heart aches for all of them and their families.
    You said it all and in a way I could not
    Love ya

  23. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. There so many out there who give in so many ways. It is nice to read about them. Thanks to "C" for ALL he has done.

  24. My dad was so proud that he served in WW II and that both my brothers also served in the military. I remember him with a smile, but with an ache in my heart. blessings, marlene

  25. The world needs more people like C. You wrote a touching tribute to our veterans.

  26. If we all could only be like C, what a great post and a wonderful neighbor you have.

  27. Grandmayellowhair,
    Thanks Maggie. It is kind of a shame that we only do this once a year, while the returning vets and the families of those affected live with the loss or pain all their lives.

    Thanks and you are so very right.
    Fortunately,there are lots of Mr. C's out there.

    You certainly have a family that has served this country well.
    We daughters always need our Dads and miss them so.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    You are right. While there are a lot of Mr. C's, we sure could use more.

    Linda Starr,
    He certainly makes me feel inadequate. I feel quite fortunate he has put me on his "to care" list.

  28. I just love this post Patti! And Mr C sounds like a true hero. Thanks for sharing!

  29. I will try again, first time it said server error.

    What a beautiful post and tribute.

  30. My dad was a Marine, first husband Army, current husband Marine, stepdaughter Navy.

    When I see a military uniform at the airport, I always say, "Thank you for your service."

    I hope there will be a time when no one has to go.

  31. Coloring Outside the Lines,
    Thank you, he is to me and those who know him.

    Thanks Patty. Actually you came through twice. I do have a crummy server-sorry.

    Linda Myers,
    You certainly have had a military family to be proud of. Be sure to thank them for me.
    I do the same thing though one time I was thanking a hunter in full military camo, badges and boots. A bit of an impersonator. Now I ask if they are in the service before thanking.

  32. A really lovely post and so very appropriate for this past week's remembrance. Lest we forget.

    HI PATTI! Hope you are well!
    Hugs, Lynda :D

  33. A beautiful post. So nice to read something so nice, and to know it's real! What a wonderful story of a real American hero.

  34. Linda G,
    Thanks Linda,hope we never forget. Doing great here.

    There are a lot of Mr. C's out there, they just go quietly about their business.

  35. lovely story about MR. C...may we all carry a little bit of Mr. C in our hearts!

  36. Tracy,
    Thanks, he really sets the bar high.