Sunday, June 10, 2012


Two Generations of Blood Donors, Blowing Rock, NC

I recently received an e-mail from an old high school friend who had written about another classmate that had been killed in Vietnam on February 24, 1969. He was manning a 50 caliber machine gun in the back of the lead jeep of a fuel convoy when they took a direct hit from a Viet Cong rocket. That emotional remembrance led to a short exchange of e-mails regarding our fallen friend whose name we both had independently sought out on the black granite wall on the National Mall. In the course of that exchange, my friend mentioned that he had been employed as an engineer after completing a four-year undergraduate program. He was encouraged to enroll in college when I drove by his home one day in 1960 and invited him to accompany me. And he had always been grateful that I did. I really had no idea, but fifty years later, I’m humbled and also grateful to know it now.

Ironically, I was facilitating an adult class this morning at church about the influence of fathers and parents in general. And the discussion moved along to sharing examples and stories about our father’s behavior that we saw as a positive influence on the direction of our own lives. As it turns out, many of these examples did not have to be earth shattering. But they all made permanent marks on young impressionable minds that have lasted a lifetime and have now been passed on to the next generation as well. We can never underestimate how our words, actions and the unspoken language of our lives are silently, innocently influencing those around us. I fully expect someone in heaven to one day tap me on the shoulder and thank me for helping to save their life through the blood donation I made for a complete stranger at the time!

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