Archive for category Short Stories

Folds of Honor

Who knew that attending a Memorial Day golf tournament would be so memorable….

The Folds of Honor Foundations sponsors a fund-raising Pro-Am that raises money and awareness for children of military heroes.  Folds of Honor gives scholarships to children of veterans, many of whom have been wounded and can no longer provide for their families.

One poignant scene is burned in my mind…. As the first group rounded the 9th green, headed to the 10th tee, a bugler sounded Taps, the tune known worldwide as the tune recognizing the end of the day.  For military heroes,Taps is reserved for funerals of heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms of the United States.

Almost immediately, the sound of thousands of fans was replaced by a nervous hush.  Old and young stood wherever they were, found one of the dozens of flags along the course property, and with hands and hats over their hearts, allowed the haunting tune to take their minds to those loved ones who serve, and who have served.

As the last notes of Taps rolled around the gentle hills of Northeast Oklahoma, a chime sounded.  One….Two… Three… In the distance, a rumble could be heard.  Faint at first, we could determine neither direction nor destination.  Four…. Five….Six…. the rumble was now echoing across the course.  Seven…. Eight… We were all facing the same direction now, waiting for the rumble to reveal its purpose.  Suddenly, over the trees, we saw them…

 

WW2 era fighter planes, similar to those in the photo, flying the famed “missing wingman” formation.  Even though the engine sounds were extreme, I could almost hear the gasp from the crowd as people suddenly recognized and identified with the drama unfolding above us.  They flew directly overhead, and they were flying low.  Unexpectedly, as they passed the Clubhouse, one of the planes peeled off to the north, representing yet another loss of a military hero.  Through tears, I followed that plane until it disappeared across the horizon.  I had lost count of the tolling of the chime, but I think the chimes numbered 12.

Finally, someone let out a cheer and the entire crowd let loose with applause and appreciation for the men and women who serve our country, risking limb and life for our freedom.  Men like my dad and father-in-law; their brothers and fathers. Men and women today who serve, placing my freedom above their lives.

I hope you’ll consider supporting our military and their families by supporting the Folds of Honor Foundation.  More information about this fine organization can be found here.

I have been reminded of the brevity of life, and of the teetering frailty of what our society calls freedom.  Join me in praying for freedom, bound in peace and secured by the iron will of the men and women of the United States Military.

Advertisements

2 Comments

The Pitfalls of Milk and Cookies

I didn’t sleep well last night.  I started out on the couch in our partially renovated living room.  I had just poured myself a small nightcap and grabbed a couple of leftover Pecan Sandies.  The name fits, by the way, when they’ve been in the cabinet since the first Bush was president.  Anyway, I had just settled with my milk and cookies and turned on OETA when I dozed off.  I woke later, around 3:30 ish, when I heard the dog barking his head off because he could smell the milk that now spilled down my shirt and my leg to the freshly cleaned carpet below.  I kindly and gently shouted at him to shut up and started after a wet towel, but thought better of it, and let Bud the dog out of his kennel so he could clean it up himself.  He wouldn’t touch the Sandie.

When Bud had his fill of the milk-flavored carpet, he crawled contentedly back in his kennel for the rest of the night.  I assume the constant licking of his teeth and dragging his tongue on the floor meant he was contented.  Anyway, I crawled down the hall to the bed, and was just about to plop in when I remembered my wet clothes.  So, in the dark of night, I silently opened the drawer and grabbed another set of clothes, which consisted of a pair of “shorts”, another pair of shorts, and a clean white T.  I had my back to the door as I changed clothes, and turned to find that my door was open into the hallway.  The same hallway where my daughter’s door was also open.  I was glad that I could hear the sweet sound of her sleeping deeply rather than the shrieks of a terrified 12-year-old.

I climbed into my bed, and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was asleep.  Now when I sleep, I am a light sleeper.  I notice every little sound, every creak, every change in my surroundings; I awaken easily and am deeply disturbed it happens.  So I was surprised to find that I had walked outside to a barn in Tennessee where I deer hunted when I was a kid.  I was there with a group of strangers, and we were building a fire in which to dry our wet clothes.  Suddenly, from the sky above us, airplanes  began falling from the sky.  Planes of all sizes- from tiny, mosquito-sized planes to huge airships that carry thousands of passengers.  They all used some kind of super landing gear, because none crashed.  They just kind of bounced up and down until they were able to open their doors and let their shaken passengers slide down the emergency chutes.  Reminded me of an Oldsmobile that my cousin in California used to drive and bounce around downtown until the Po-Pos ran him off.

I began to run at a rapid pace, fleeing the barn and the descending planes.  Off in the distance, I could hear Bud barking, as if he were saying, “Come on, Daddy, run!  I gotta go!  I gotta go!  I gotta go!”  I jumped over a fallen log and landed mid-stride right square on the edge of my bed, balanced between safety and falling a terrifying two feet to the floor.  As gracefully as a turtle in molasses, I turned to keep from falling, hoping that if anyone saw me, they would think I meant to do that.

Breathing hard and wiping the sleep from my eyes, I turned to see my sweet wife putting on her makeup.  She was using a dry, #2 brush, like those used to cut in trim work around crown molding in fancy houses.  Her paint came from a very expensive and very tiny tube. When she saw that I was up, she smiled and asked, “Did you sleep well?”

“Yes,” I lied.  “Did you?”

“I did until about 3:30, when I dreamed about bald, pasty white polar bear wearing shorts. Then I heard Bud barking so I got up and let him go outside. When he had finished, and after I put him up, I couldn’t go back to sleep.  Now, evidently, Bud has had an accident while I wasn’t looking because the carpet in front of the couch is wet.  It took me 20 minutes to clean that up.”

Grinning sheepishly, I gave her a quick kiss on the forehead and reminded her that eating before she goes to sleep can lead to some unwanted results…

 

*This story is only partially true; some of this really happened, and the rest is, well, partially not true. I’m not telling which…..

Leave a comment