Late last week, I had the unfortunate, and fortunate, opportunity to say goodbye to a mentor, friend, colleague, and, at one time, a father figure. My friend was sometimes hard to understand and sometimes hard to handle, but he was always there, teaching, pushing, and supporting. He gave me the willingness to stand up when called, fight when necessary, and deepened my respect for our country and what it offers, even when we are in turmoil, such as today. He was a vet. And it is unfortunate that I, we, lost him. He was an icon in his own right.
The fortunate part is his passing gave me a few awakenings to things that have slipped away without me knowing it. For instance, the connections with other dear friends I have had in my life. So great to see how their lives have progressed and changed. Time passes too quickly.
His passing also gave me a renewed sense of the brotherhood of those who served. I was mesmerized by the dedication to the military-style closure of his life. The 21-gun salute. The folding and presenting of the flag. The general presence and time commitment given to his passing. Even though I have always been grateful to our armed forces, I walked away with even higher respect for these men and women.
Thank you each and every one of you.
And goodbye my friend.