At long last I’m happy to report that my young friend “Bert” is home and recovering nicely from wounds he received in the line of duty. Brett and his family have been enjoying their time together. He’s soon returning to duty but believes he’ll be posted at a stateside base, a giant relief to family and friends.
I recently got to spend an afternoon with Brett and my son over burgers n’ beers. Walking with a cane and displaying evidence of his tangle with high explosives, we talked about how lucky he is. Ever curious about conditions, our troops, their progress and our situation, Brett was able to provide me with first-hand insights missing from news reports we see here.
We talked at length about many things, the very least of which was politics (which we didn’t discuss at all) since they seem petty when compared with the daily drama played out in real-time by our troops. The bullshit ends there. Reality is ever-present, etched in the faces of our courageous troops and a civilization that while dramatically different from ours, nevertheless shares family, friends, fear, trust, suspicion and the full spectrum of human emotion. Only through talking with Brett or someone like Brett can we get a clear picture of what is happening in our name overseas. I’m deeply grateful for our friendship and his candor.
We also talked much about the old days–retelling stories that bring comfort, provoke smiles and deep, convulsive belly laughs of the sort researchers claim to be therapeutic. The mixture of reality past and present convinces us that today is indeed worth living.
My prayers regarding “Bert,” Lacey and his family are different than they were a month ago…including fewer petitions and many more thanks. He’s home again and we breathe a little easier knowing he’s safe. As he worries about those he left behind, we wish him an easy transition to a far less hazardous routine. Welcome home, my friend.
And in case you wondered, after all these years, Bert still likes him some Hooters.
(But it’s the wings…honest).