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The Old Vet In The Wheelchair
Author: Shiloh

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it was during the Veterans Day parade that I saw him...
in his old army field jacket,
his long gray hair hanging down all around,
and the lines in his face showing his age,
and the wheelchair showing his roads...
he would join the marchers,
keep going as long as his arms would let him,
begging off letting someone push him
because he seemed to want to do it himself,
and when he got tired
he would roll over to the curb and rest a bit
before rejoining the marchers...
a few feet from where I was standing,
he came to rest at the curb,
and there was this little boy there,
maybe five years old, maybe more...
and for a moment their eyes connected,
the old vet and the little boy,
and there seemed to be a message that went between them...
(the vet hoping that the little boy would never have to do what he had done,
the little boy telling the old vet that he loved him for what he had done),
and then the little boy gave the old vet the tiny flag he had been waving,
and the vet put the small staff in his pocket so the flag was showing on his breast
and rejoined the marchers
with the best medal he could have ever been given worn proudly...

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