This brings me to my point. These athletes are crying foul while most of the youngest retirees (and some of which were a part of the lawsuit) made a lot of money playing a game. Let me say that again. They made a lot of money playing a game. And yes, I understand that the medical costs and the squandered fortunes that are often associated with these ex-players is also devastating. However, I met somebody this weekend that gave me a whole new perspective on this discussion.
This weekend, the high school that I work with hosted an alumni football game as a fundraiser that helped the athletic departments of the my school and that of our next door neighbor. During the pre-game, I met a father who is an alum of the high school where I am employed. (He also has at least two sons that we talked about that evening who are students in the same district.) This gentleman came in to get his ankles taped before the game.
I asked for a brief history of his injuries so I could give him the best treatment I could. After a remarkably long list of injuries, I had to ask how a person who appeared to be in his mid 30s ended up with such a dubious collection. He explained that he has been a military man for his entire career of 16 years if my memory is correct. He then offered that he is soon expecting to reenlist for another 6 years and hoped that it would be his last enlistment.
What struck me the most is that he was not looking for anything except the taping for his ankles. I regret that I did not have the time to talk to him more about his experiences and his injuries. I look forward to talking to him again and I hope he will be willing to share more about his experiences.
Here is thing that has really bugged me; prompting me to write this post. Here is a hero, a real hero, that is sacrificing as much and risking so much more than the professional athletes that we give so much attention to. He isn't asking for fame, isn't expecting a fortune for doing what he does, and yet, is doing much more. Most people will agree that it is always appropriate to always thank our members of armed services, but the irony of this conversation just heavily reinforced for me the need to follow though on it.
In short, I am thankful (and regretful) that God introduced me to this person and I look forward to our next conversation so that I can correct my oversight. God bless the men and women who do such tremendous service to our country and keep them safe.