On the way, home tonight, a man came on the train. He was wearing military colors. He was walking with a cane, and his legs were visibly shaking. I’ve been working on developing tougher skin when riding the subway, but I couldn’t ignore this man. So I lowered my music, he began to talk about his time in Afghanistan, and how he has been left incapable of working due to injuries sustained in service to this nation.
Now call me a sucker, but I can’t turn my back on a veteran. Perhaps he is lying, maybe not, remember that terrible man I covered some months ago that was pretending to be a veteran? What a piece of crap that man was. This gentleman seemed quite legit. He didn’t avoid eye contact; and he thanked everyone in what I perceived was a heartfelt manner. He also cracked some jokes with us, “Don’t get arrested now that the weather is nice you young whippersnapper!”
The entire encounter moved me. I have done fundraisers and donated money to vets in the past, but I wanted to speak in depth with this man. He said he suffers from PTSD, and I can’t help but believe that talking would help alleviate some of that. I’m going to look a little harder into how I can get more involved with our injured and otherwise disabled vets. I looked into this in the recent past, and there was nothing in the general area where my skills could be of use, but I’m going to look once again.
I thanked him for his service, and gave him a moderate volume level “hooah!” He said “Semper fi” and carried on genuinely thanking anyone who acknowledged him.