I looked over and saw her. She was young and pretty. There she stood in the middle of the cafeteria with her pants pulled down. Moreover she was trying to remove her prosthetic leg. Obviously this caught my attention. It isn’t every day you see a beautiful woman standing in a public place with her pants down. It is even less often you see one trying to take her bionic leg off. But that’s not why I’m writing today.
There is much more to this story. I saw that this woman was part of a larger contingent of amputees and other differently-abled individuals. Some of them were wearing military t-shirts. I asked her if they were all military – mainly because I wanted to thank them for their service to our country. She explained that she was the victim of a motorcycle accident, but two of the eight were military heroes. Just then the young man in front of me turned around to see who his friend was talking to.
I reached out my hand and as we shook, I thanked him for his service and sacrifice.As we talked, I learned that his name is Garrett Jones and he is still active duty military, participating in a special USMC program that allows him to compete in snowboarding competitions worldwide. In fact, he was at Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline lodge with a Windell’s snowboarding camp. He was scheduled to compete in Japan in the near future, but he is being deployed to Afghanistan in a couple of months.What impressed me about Garrett was his complete and utter lack of self-pity. Though he lost his leg, above the knee, just seven months ago, he had an incredibly cheerful and charismatic attitude. He told me how he and the other military veteran (whom I later met and thanked) were the only AK (above knee amputee) snowboarders competin. He talked about their video exploits, cliff jumping, and half-pipe spectacles over the past several days.
Throughout my years as a paramedic, and in traveling cross country several times, I’ve met some very interesting people. Some of them were characters, others were just downright interesting. Garrett struck me as one of those notable people who is going accomplish great things in life. Of course, time will tell.
As I drove home from Mt. Hood Meadows Thursday, I reflected on Garrett’s positive attitude. It was obvious that he is living a life without regret and a continual search for success. He mentioned to me how he is no longer infantry, but is working in intelligence: “Intelligence is the future,” he said. “At least until retirement.”
Those are well spoken words from a man who knows where he is going and how he is going to get there.
What about you? How are your choices and attitudes affecting your present; not to mention your future?
(My apologies to those who thought this was going to be something scandalous)