Went to the football game yesterday. Oh, it was such a pretty day and something happened that brought tears to my eyes, well not tears but did make them real moist.

The University band did march on and form the great big W. They played the University fight song, Cowboy Joe, then the University Song. I sit on the first row of the second tier and just below me along the walk-way are niches and special seats for the handicapped and their wheel chairs. A large older man always sits there. He is a large man who used to play football, and now he struggles along with a walker. He has one bad or artificial leg and does barely shuffle along. Oh, he is into the game and many a fan and attendee do know him and call him by name.

But after the University Song, the National Anthem the band began to play. Oh, I was taken aback as the man tried to stand. He edged forward in his seat, placed his right leg in the right place, then with his walker and a lot of painful effort, by the mid-point of the anthem, he had risen. All crippled up and with cap removed, he stood proud and sang along.

Cold chills I felt, as I always do, as my eyes did moisten. Damn I felt proud as I saw this crippled older man, standing proud in honor of our national anthem and our flag.

After the anthem, everyone sat down. The kick-off was over by the time he did get back down. I do not know that old man, but dang I do admire and surely like him, although to him I have not spoken.



A Patriot



He used a walker, oh so slow,
That right leg he did drag,
A large man with a small wrinkled wife,
Slowly they did make their way.


He sits in the handicapped section,
There down just in front of me.
He is greeted by a lot,
A well known man.


Oh so hard for him to sit down,
Having to arrange the leg and the body.
Harder yet for him to rise,
It does a long time take.


But when the first note
Of the National Anthem he did hear,
Immediately, he did his walker move.
Starting to stand and show his respect.


First, the walker had to be positioned,
Then he had to move his right leg.
First try did not work,
On the second one, he finally stood.


Half the anthem had been played,
As he tried to so erect stand.
Baseball cap over his heart,
Trying to stand to show his respect.


Cold chills did over my body roll,
As moisture did collect in my eyes.
I smiled and did punch my wife,
For his actions, to me, were so patriotic.


It made me proud to watch him there,
In his pain, trying to stand tall.
But he, homage had to pay,
For he is a patriot, every day.


I do not know him, we have not met,
But next game I surely will.
For he is a hero to me,
And he loves our dear country.


By Tom (TOMWYO@aol.com)

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