The old man

05 Jun

                     The Old Man…

    As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day,
pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an
old man with the hood of his car  up and a lady
sitting inside the car, with the door open.

    The old man was looking at the engine.  I put my
groceries away in my car and continued to watch the
old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.

    I saw a young man in his early twenties with a
grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old
gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps
towards him.  I saw the old gentleman point to his
open hood and say something.

    The  young man put his grocery bag into what looked
like a brand  new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back
to the old man and  I heard him yell at the old
gentleman saying, ‘You  shouldn’t even be allowed to
drive a car at your age.’  And then with a wave of his
hand, he got in his car and peeled  rubber out of the
parking lot.

    I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief
and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again
looked at the engine.  He then went to his wife and
spoke with her and appeared  to tell her it would  be
okay.  I had seen enough and I approached the old man.
He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near
him I said, ‘Looks like you’re having a problem.’

   He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I
looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever
the problem was, it was beyond me.  Looking around I
saw a gas station up the road and told the old man
that I would be right back. I drove to the station and
went inside and saw three attendants working on cars.
I approached one of them and related the problem the
old man had with his car and offered to pay them if
they could follow me back  down and help him..

    The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade
of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When
he saw us, he straightened up and thanked me for my
help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem
(overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

    When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed
my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling
me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked
the usual question, ‘What outfit did you serve with?’

   He had mentioned that he served with the first
Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal.
He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps
after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car
engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood.
They came over to us as the old man reached for his
wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would
just put the bill on my AAA card.

   He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card
that I assumed had his name and address on it and I
stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around
again and I said my goodbye’s to his wife.  I then
told the two mechanics that I would follow them back
up to the station.  Once at the station I told them
that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along
with me and help the old man.  I said I wanted to pay
for the help, but they refused to charge me.

   One of them pulled out a card from his pocket
looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me.
Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine
Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around
and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should
look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I
would and drove off.

   For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I
pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and
looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the
old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under
his name…….’Congressional Medal of Honor Society.’

   I sat there motionless looking at the card and
reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled
to no one but myself and marveled that on this day,
four Marines had all come together, because one of us
needed help.  He was an old man all right, but it felt
good to have stood next to greatness and courage and
an honor to have been in his presence. Remember, OLD
men like him gave you FREEDOM for America. Thanks to
those who served…& those who supported them.

    America is not at war. The U.S.  Military is at war.
America is at the Mall. If you don’t stand behind our
troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!

    Remember, Freedom isn’t "Free" — thousands have
paid the price so you can enjoy what you have today.



   This prayer is so powerful.
   Pass this prayer to 12 people
   including me.

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Posted by on June 5, 2009 in Family


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