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In Scotland, there are many sayings that don’t withstand scrutiny. “This has been me since yesterday” is my favorite. It doesn’t make sense, but when someone says it to you when you’re waiting for a bus in pelting rain, it kinda sorta does.
“You never know the minute” was one of my mom’s favorites. And that’s what I was thinking this morning.
Our little neighborhood in our little town has done its part volunteering for the Armed Forces. A couple Army, a couple Navy, a couple Air Force, and my two Marines. One young man I’ve known since he was born talked often about joining the USMC. His dad was special forces in the Army during Vietnam and he’s been a good friend to all my sons all his life. He dithered a bit, talked to a recruiter a few times, even got a waiver for his tattoos. But he is the youngest of five with four older sisters, and his father died suddenly when he was only 19.
For obvious reasons, I’m sure his mom was not enthusiastic at the prospect of her only son joining the Marines, and it never came to fruition. He always makes a point to stop by when my boys are in town and is an avid listener and cheerleader.
I was up late last night; around 2 am, there was a cacophony of sirens, and helicopters about a mile from where we live. There soon were Facebook postings about an active shooter at a local bar that I know of but have never been to (unusual, as I’ve lived here for 30 years and been to most). We do have good friends who frequent the bar and I was in a bit of a dither waiting for one of them to return a text.
But this morning the information had come in: a fight in a bar. Someone pulled a gun. Two victims shot and one dead.
Soon I got a text from one of my sons; one of the injured was the young man who considered the Marines but never joined. He’d been shot in the calf and already released from the hospital. Not exactly bullet dodged, but it could have been a lot worse.
We’ve heard a few hair-raising stories from our armed forces neighbors; several have been deployed and son #1 did a stint in Afghanistan.
Of all the fine young men in our little neighborhood, the kid who considered the Marines and rejected it is home now nursing a bullet wound.
You never know the minute.Published in