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THE OLD WARRIOR

St. Michaels in Maryland on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake is one of my favorite places to visit. Picturesque with a history a mile long (and that I will visit at another time), it also offers all kinds of festivals throughout the year.

On this occasion, we were there for the annual wine festival (and there’s yet another story!) when I found myself wandering around and on impulse headed for the indoor boat museum. Approaching the door from the other side was what appeared on first sight, just another elderly couple as many around. Manners learned from childhood kicked in and I stepped up to open the somewhat heavy door for them.

But this was not your normal elderly couple. I had opened the door for an Old Warrior. Fragile, poor eyesight, right arm missing, supported by his wife on his left arm but upright bearing like the marine he once was.

“But no,” he said, “A gentleman opens the door for a lady, not the other way around.”

“Sir,” I told him, “You can make up for it by giving me a hug.” That left arm whipped around and hugged me with strength far beyond his years.

How do you calculate the value of this?

And so ends my week dedicated to our military, whether active, reserves or retired. Once again I quote Winston Churchill, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Please keep our military, their families and friends in your prayers.

Freedom is not Free.

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