Today I had to leave my wife and two grandchildren to travel from Door County to Milwaukee for yet another doctor appointment. On my way back to Door County, I traveled through Two Rivers, WI. Two Rivers is such a small little town that if you blinked you’d probably miss it. But, it’s pretty with a nice high school and a lot of tourist type places. It’s the kind of town that flies flags from nearly every porch and everyone knows everyone else — along with their business. It’s the kind of place, from what I saw driving thru, that you wish you could raise your kids in. The kind of place where Ozzie and Harriet probably still live.
While driving through town the other day, Cheryl and I wondered just why the majority of the flags were at half-staff, but we’re on vacation, so we figured we missed some big news item. Today, I saw why. According to a sign at a local bank, SGT. Shaun Novak was killed in Iraq. When I saw the sign — noticing it only because I had been caught at the light — it took my breath away. A whole town has lowered their flags to honor one of their own. Feeling lucky that my son arrived back from Iraq safe and sound, I felt for the Novaks. I wondered what they must feel.
Then, I passed the high school and saw another sign flashing an honor to the fallen soldier. This one stated his birthday. I didn’t catch the date, but I caught the year, 1985. The year that I graduated from high school this young man was born and now he’s gone, killed in a War being fought so far away. This time, I didn’t have my breath taken away, this time real tears flowed down my cheeks for a young man I never met and for his parents and family.
I saw another sign that said, God Bless the Novaks. So, I’m going to end today’s blog with nothing more than those four words. No rant, no rave, just a simple:
God Bless the Novaks.