This week, the prompt was “Grouch.” I hope I addressed this topic with the respect it deserves. I have nothing but respect for our servicemembers and those of our allies. Whether they fought in WWII, Vietnam, the Gulf, or anywhere else, our military sees horrors most of us can’t imagine. They leave their homes and their families to protect us or to fight because someone must.

I am fortunate that I will likely never see such trauma.

Politically, I am a pacifist, and I would hope that those I vote for will do their best to avoid war and conflict whenever possible. But when it is unavoidable, I am grateful to those who answer the call.


He was a particularly ornery old man. Not just the type to scold kids on his lawn or curse the luxuries (and laziness) afforded by technology either. No, he was the cantankerous veteran who fought for our freedoms and don’t you forget the sacrifices he made.

But something changed in him when he visited the cemetery.

Amongst resting friends and former lovers and those who never left the small town in which he was born, he found himself feeling vibrant. He relived the moments that sustained him throughout most of his 94 years.

One man – the officer and the dreamer.

© 2016 H.R. Stephens


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