by Javier Reyes, Boise Idaho

Two weeks ago I was coming to work around 6:30 a.m. and was entering the Interstate and there was a soldier in full uniform with all his medals standing by the side of the road waiting by the side of the road. It was a rainy day and no one had taken into consideration and offered a hand to help by giving him a ride to Boise. In an instant I had visions of myself in the 70's, coming back from Vietnam from a not so popular war, hitchhiking on the Pacific Highway (illegal in California) trying to get somewhere on foot, but being chastised for fighting for my country.

I stopped and offered to give him a ride to his destination and get him out of the rain. It turns out that he was going to a Wounded Warrior presentation at a Plasma Center in Boise but that his vehicle had a flat tire and he had to go on foot. He (Jim) told me his dilemma about being a forty year veteran and how hard it is to get a job after being in the military that long; that the money just doesn't last as long and not having a job does not help either. He told me a story about applying for a security job at a computer company in Boise and that he was told that he did not have enough experience in security to be considered for the position.

I dropped him off at his destination, gave him my gratitude for his service and some money.

Every day I count my blessings that I survived the negative reception that we all received upon our return and became a better person for it.  I pray that our soldiers that are currently serving and veterans in our hospitals are taken care of even in these tough economic times.  

What I can say is that I did the right thing that day for Jim, for the right reasons and not for the glory. If that is impacting our community in a positive manner, then I do that every day by serving as a leader in my community.

Thank you Bigelow Tea for having the company values that are lacking in a lot of other organizations that I have worked for. Sometime it is not about the money but about the core values that we must stand for.