Wayfaring Writer

Driven by a violent desire to write.

Ordinary Heroes

Ordinary Heroes

A few days ago I was driving through the city of Easton, MD and suddenly had to go to the bathroom. The nearest place was the Walmart so I pulled into their parking lot. Driving through I saw a man in a red shirt sitting on a dirty couch cushion and holding a cardboard sign.

More and more often I’ve been seeing people who were homeless walking in the area. It breaks my heart to see anybody fallen on hard times, for whatever reason. Although I don’t have much myself I knew I had to do something. I decided that when I went to use the bathroom I would buy the man some food.

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Afraid that I would miss him or that someone would tell him to leave I rushed through the aisles buying a gallon of water, a bag of pretzels, a handful of Clif bars, a deli sandwich, and a nice cold Pepsi. I checked out and rushed back to my car to find him.

I was just in time.

He had begun walking away from where he had been sitting, going who knows where. I stopped and caught his attention, telling him I had been looking for him. I gave him the bags of groceries and a little money, for which he was very thankful.

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He said his name was Will. Will is a Marine Corps veteran who had served two tours in Iraq, gotten wounded, and was sent home. Once he was home his life began to fall apart. He couldn’t find a job, his girlfriend had left him, and the transmission on his car blew up just the day before. He had spent the night before sleeping under the awning of a nearby store before being told to leave. He thanked me again and told me that if it wasn’t for me he probably wouldn’t have been able to eat for the day. I talked with him a bit longer and asked him if I could pray for him.

After I was done praying for him he told me that for the last week he had felt totally alone, with God being the only one who cared about him. “It’s just me and God” he said “I thought no one else could give a shit, but you did.” This warmed my heart and made it heavy at the same time. Will and I parted ways and I hope the Lord blesses him abundantly in the near future.

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Will’s story saddens me all the more that it happened on Memorial Day weekend. Many of us don’t give the proper reverence for the day. It has become more about a day off work, barbecues, and fireworks than anything else. Even I am guilty of this. I spend a little time thanking the soldiers who have died fighting for our country, but we still tend to forget the memory of those who are still present on Earth but have “fallen” a different way.

These are not men and women who died in battle. They are not legends or those who single-handedly turned the tide of a battle. These are the everyday heroes of the armed forces. Clerks, administrative personnel, radar technicians, security forces, mechanics, or what have you. Then many of them come back and through a series of unfortunate events or even problems of their own making they become homeless.

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In uniform we make have thanked them or at least held them in some unspoken high regard. But now, dirty, disheveled, and sitting on the side of the road we, at best, ignore them or, at worst, tell them to leave.

So this Memorial Day I just want to ask you to take a moment and remember all those who have fallen fighting for our country. Some may have lost their lives and other may have lost their homes, families, friends, or livelihoods. Let us not forget these ordinary heroes that surround us even now. Thank them, shake their hands, let them know they are loved and appreciated. They give up so much for us, please give up a few moments for them.

Person giving cup to homeless woman

Person giving cup to homeless woman

About Luke Geldmacher

I grew living on an island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Currently, I live in a 40 acre farm in Cookville, TX. I sometime write about life issues, but my passion is sci-fi and fantasy storytelling.

2 Replies

  1. Justin

    Great article, Luke. :)

    1. Thanks Justin. Miss you dude!

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