I stood at the checkout counter taping two movie posters back-to-back; the posters to hang on the glass door of a local sporting goods store. With only three weeks left until our first PHWFF fund raiser, we needed to sell more tickets. Any additional exposure couldn’t hurt.
As I was finishing up, a young man asked if I was “Dean,” the contact name on the poster. I said “yes, I am” and inquired if he was a fly fisherman.
Our conversation continued when he mentioned he had been fly fishing almost twenty years. He asked a few questions about PHWFF and maybe helping out. It was then he mentioned he was a veteran.
I hung the poster on the door and we made our way to the parking lot. Along the way I learned he had been serving in Washington D.C. during the making of the movie “Taking Chance,” and worked on the coordination of the military and the movie. Small world, as Ms. Gretchen Mack, mother of Chance Phelps, subject of the movie “Taking Chance” is the keynote speaker at our event.
The Veteran told of his bewilderment of his survival. He wondered why he was sent to D.C. when the rest the rest of his platoon was sent to Iraq. Nearly half of them were killed in combat.
This Marine returned to the infantry, completing his tours of duty, retiring from the service with a 60% disability discharge. (And he wanted to help us.)
He told me of his efforts to start his own company, his return to college, and a few other things that shall remain confidential. He said that, since his return, the only places he finds peace is when he’s snow skiing and fly fishing.
This wasn’t the first time I had heard that from a Veteran.
We exchanged contact information via business cards and I thanked him for his service.
We’ll be in touch soon. He’ll be joining Veterans from the Warrior Transition Unit from Ft. Carson for a day of fishing and healing on April 6, 2013 at Sylvan Dale Ranch.
The following week I hope to see him again. I bought two tickets for him and his girl friend to attend our film tour fund raiser. He’ll get another look at what we do and I plan to introduce to him to Ms. Mack.
It is a small world indeed; one in which we should extend a hand in friendship.
Has a chance encounter produced a moving moment in your life recently? Tell us by leaving a comment below.