article-single

A Veteran's Day

Here you are, sitting on the end of your dock on a summer afternoon, thinking about how pretty the sun is sparkling off the water. It is a hot day, but the little breeze coming in from the lake keeps you cool. There is a blue heron standing to your right under a overhanging cedar, and out about 200 feet out is a pair of loons that you have been watching for the last hour.

Nobody came up next door and there aren’t any boats on the lake. The whole world is just yours and you can sit and smile and feel like God gave you this day as a reward for you know not what.

Then it starts. First it is the sun hitting the water and bouncing up to your eye. Then it is the tear that rolls down your cheek, where you can taste the salt as it touches your lip. You know it is coming and you look around, not wanting anyone to see.

In just the beat of your heart you are no longer on the end of that dock, you are looking at Lance Corporal Joey Anderson laying dead with his head and shoulders laying in the water and the sun is bouncing up to your eye and a tear starts to form.

You shake your head, stand up and wipe your cheek and sit back down. You think of what you were saying to the others as you bent to pick him up. Everything was over then and no one really saw him get hit. You are thinking this like it was just yesterday, but it was 32 years ago. Everything is so clear and you have that same sick feeling in your stomach.

Your daughter calls down to you that dinner is ready, you go up to eat.

July 23, 2001