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By Robert Smith
I came up from Florida for my 56th reunion at Shirkey Sept. 27. It was Homecoming week and I was late getting a motel reservation and finally got one at the Rose Court Motel. I had a non-smoking room and I am a smoker.
About 10:30 one night, I decided to grab a smoke and being one to obey the rules, I moved a straight- back chair outside. It was dark and I was in my jockey shorts. I had just lit a cigarette and all hell broke loose.
A fire truck with red and blue flashing lights pulled in and parked just inches from my car. I told my friends that I thought to myself, “ Man, Richmond sure has some strict rules against smoking in your jockey shorts.”
As it turned out, it was not a fire truck but an ambulance. A minute later, another ambulance pulled in, followed by a police car.
I went inside and put on some clothes and came back out to see what was going on. The whole parking lot was lit up with flashing Apparently, some lady in one of the rooms had had a stroke or a heart attack. The emergency people brought her out and put her in an ambulance and took her to the hospital.
I think the people of Richmond and Ray County should be aware of and appreciate the efficiency and professionalism of their emergency organizations.
A while back I was just leaving a Dollar General store when an old man in a wheel chair came up to me and asked me for a dollar for some pain pills. I could see that he was a double amputee.
I asked him if he was a veteran and he said that he had been in the Navy. I asked for his serial number and he immediately recited it and told me the names of the ships he’d been on. I told him that one dollar would not buy the medicine he needed and gave him four. He was so happy to talk to a fellow veteran that he just lit up like a candle.
Some years back, I was sitting in my local bar when an old man wearing a field jacket came in to have a drink. All the people around him moved away because they said he smelled bad. I went over to talk to him and found out he was hitch-hiking to the VA hospital in Pensacola, 90 miles away. I asked him if he had his DD-214 (official military release document required for vets’ benefits).
He showed it to me and it was full of combat awards that he had received in World War II, including the Silver Star. I told him 90 miles was a long way and that I‘d take him. He politely refused and said he’d rather hitch-hike. I hope he made it OK.
Our country does not treat our veterans very well after they have served our country. We can do better.
Rabbit is a 1957 RHS graduate.