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Today’s MUST READ

Val over at Babalu Blog (Hey, “El Commandante?” Bite Me!) has today’s required reading. He was ready to tear some anti-war commenter a new orifice, but decided to pause and let his initial rage wane, so he stepped outside to cop a smoke….
(Note: I cleaned up Mr. Man Camp’s prose a bit from its original composition; Hey? It’s what I do… unless I wanna mock you.)

…I was mulling over what I was going to respond to Mr. “The War is Lost” when I see a Metro bus pull up at the stop across the street. No big deal, really, I see the bus stop all the time. But this time it’s just stopped there for at least a minute with no one getting on or off.

Then, just as I’m about to look away, a small duffel bag flies out of the bus door and onto the sidewalk and before I know it, a young man, probably in his very early twenties steps out of the bus. He’s in his perfectly pressed dress Army uniform. Shiny black shoes and a chestful of decorations. He’s got another small backpack over his shoulder.

He turns around and faces the bus driver, gives the guy an enthusiastic wave, and then picks up his duffel and starts walking in my direction.

It was extraordinarily quiet outside my office building yesterday. There wasn’t the usual bevy of people and cars coming and going and at that very moment it was just me and him on opposite street corners.

I’m not sure why but my eyes welled up a bit. Maybe it was the solitude of the moment, maybe it was the fact that this young man, this soldier whom I have to assume was on his way home from service, had to ride a bus home all alone.

I found myself a bit overwhelmed with emotion, that familiar lump in my throat once again, and remember, suddenly, the Marine on the bus bench. The one I didn’t get a chance to give a ride to. The one I didn’t get to thank two years ago right before Memorial Day.

Next thing I know I was running across the street after the young man.

Read the whole thing.

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