A Real Tear-Jerker, but More

Written by larry on November 26th, 2013

First, go here, and read the article.

Its a touching story, about an honor provided for a man who never expected it, and was left with a wonderful experience to relive during the remaining few days of his life.

Having never served in the military, stories like these resonate with me in a couple of different ways. There’s the part of me that realizes I’m indebted to those who did serve. I can never repay that debt, but I can show interest in and respect for the exploits of the men and women who, essentially, make my life possible. And I can donate to soldier-friendly causes, for those currently in the service as well as those who once were, both the living and dead.

But something else that made this story interesting for me was the camaraderie that Bud shared with the sailors on board the Dewey, The article doesn’t mention Bud’s age, but some quick calculation puts him in his early nineties. Yet there he was, hobnobbing with soldiers one-third his age, like they were old friends. And it got me thinking that there is no past experience in my own life that would afford me such an opportunity. High school reunion? Bah. I asked a friend who attended oneĀ  of mine a few years ago about who showed up. He reeled off a list of twenty names. Nineteen I didn’t recognize and the twentieth I remembered as someone who had made my life a living hell back then. So no, I don’t think I would have gotten a reception like EM2 Bud Cloud got on board the Dewey.

Should I consider this a shortcoming? There’s a saying that you should live your life so that the undertaker doesn’t have to lie at your funeral. I’ll call that baseline; I’d like to try for something more. Perhaps a good metric would be to have a decent turnout at my funeral. I think I’m on track for that one, though I’ll admit that for best results, the venue would have to be chosen with care.

When I think about it, given the choice, I would not be willing to endure Pearl Harbor in exchange for what Mr. Cloud experienced. But within my own limitations, devoting a little more energy to broadening my social horizons might not be a terrible thing. Perhaps the writing will be a conduit in that direction.



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