Friday, August 7, 2009

Close Encounter with a Role Model

Veterans Day 2007 poster from the United State...Image via Wikipedia

I don't know his name, I've never seen his face (as far as I know), and it may not be a him at all, it might be a her. The handwriting on the note looked like a guy's, but for all I knew, it could have just as easily been E.T. practicing his human.

A group of us had spent the day at the Maine Veterans Hospital, getting oriented for rotations that begin Monday. We attended a lunchtime lecture, toured the campus, and were inundated with information -- some of which, at least, I hope I'll remember at the right time.

As I walked out the main entrance I noticed a white piece of paper on my windshield and wondered how I could have gotten a parking ticket so soon. On closer inspection, it wasn't a ticket at all, but an unsigned note informing me my driver's side front tire was low and there was a nail in the tread. Someone not only noticed the tire inflation but looked closely enough to see the nail.

Fortunately, the leak was a slow one and I had time to have both nails (it turns out) removed and the tire repaired before making the 75 mile trip home. Mr. or Ms. Whomever didn't have to stop, didn't have to write, and could have walked on. But bother they did, and by so doing, saved me from spending part of the afternoon on the side of the road -- assuming the tire didn't blow at 65 mph causing me even greater problems.

At some point, I may see this person in one of the clinics and provide medical care in exchange for a hastily written note. We'll never know and while I have no proof, my intuition tells me the author is a veteran who was on campus and happened by my car. In any case, I'm grateful a perfect stranger believed service to their country didn't cease just because they were no longer in uniform. Talk about a role model.

(Image via Wikipedia)
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