I dedicate this article to all of those who have fought, suffered, and died for the freedom that we enjoy today in the United States. I have spent a great deal of time in my retirement just thinking – thinking about our society and all of the changes that have occurred in the last 70 years. There are two common threads that are woven into our fabric as Americans: people want to be free so they can strive to achieve their dreams. Freedom is the number one concern on everyone’s mind today. And the second common thread is that people want to be recognized for what they have achieved.
It will be three years on July 15th that my great friend Bob Stackhouse died. He was a World War II veteran and served as a belly gunner on a B17 bomber. Orphaned at 15, Bob joined the Air Force before he was 18, eager to get involved in the fight. He loved to shoot – he was twice pistol champion of New York State, and an avid skeet shooter till his heart grew so weak that he could no longer hold up his gun.
He did teach me one thing that I will never forget: “There ain’t nothing forever,” he used to say to me. And he often used that expression to cover not only the good things that happen to us in our lives but also the bad things that come our way. “This too shall pass,” he would say to me.
I make it a point to visit Peg, Bob’s wife. She fears July since it was in this month that Bob and some of her other family members passed away. I suspect that July will come and go and she will do just fine. In the mean time, Bob is waiting for her just beyond those clouds.