Almost every day we try to be active and do something healthful. We enjoy going to the workout club or simply walking. I have found that walking is the easiest thing to do because it requires no equipment except a good pair of walking shoes. Today we are at our daughter’s home and the effects of hurricane Sandy are impacting the area with winds that are 45+ mph and some light rain.

So I bundled up and took off.

My goal is to walk about 4 miles a day as fast as I can. It is a good kind of workout that is not hard on the knees or back. There is a McDonald’s about one half mile from the house and they have coffee – so it is a natural place to stop for a break on the way back.

Today I met Ed.

I was sitting sipping my coffee and reading a newspaper from Kalamazoo. The rest of the place was empty except the seven McDonald’s employees running around cleaning things. An old fella walked in with a WWII Veteran’s hat on and shuffled to a table to drink his decaf. I asked him if he had served in WWII. He said he had.

I asked him some questions about which branch of the service he had served in (Army) and if he had served in the Pacific or in Europe. He shared that he had served in the Pacific and told me which campaigns he had been involved in….many of them were the same locations where my father had served. He just wanted to share.

We started talking about hurricane Sandy and ended up talking about a couple of cyclones he experienced in the war with winds in excess of 120 mph. He talked about going from building to building with the entire group connected by hooking their arms. Some of the buildings were blown down and they went into the hillsides to search for burial tomb caves that they could crawl into for some level of safety.

It was a humbling conversation. I’m guessing that the young people working had no idea that they were serving a real hero who did what he did to protect the rights of Americans today.