I promised I will never forget his kindness. I will always keep that promise.
A highly interesting thing happened yesterday. I decided to donate a fake Christmas tree. I loved that tree, but it was time to downsize.
As I opened my apartment door and was attempting to carry the package (almost as tall as myself), and was barely able to lift it up off the ground, the maintenance guy of the apartment met me and walked along side me from my apartment door to the elevator.
He said, “Why didn’t you get the cart?” I replied, “Because I’m an idiot.” (I was in a hurry so I thought it would waste more time to get the cart rather than carrying it myself but I didn’t tell him that.) He never offered to assist and hurried into the staircase with a spray can in his hand. I felt macho, but my female side was a bit bummed.
It took me back to the day when I purchased the tree. I was wheeling it in the grocery cart to my car and had just made it across the sidewalk just outside the BX (the store where I bought the tree).
The vice wing commander of the Misawa Air Force Base had put one leg into his pickup, got out of his pickup and asked me if I needed help. Now, I had just wondered inside my brain how in the world I would get the tree into my vehicle. I assumed it was quite heavy but I didn’t know exactly how heavy it might be. If I lifted it, I might have been barely able to breathe and in severe pain that night due to problems with my sternum. (The problem flares when I lift a certain amount of weight.) I needed to work the next day so I was deeply concerned – but hadn’t said a thing.
The vice wing commander (second in charge of the entire military base) dropped off his packages into his vehicle, hurried to meet me, and came to assist me – even though it might mess up his back and totally inconvenienced him. Not only was he inconvenienced, he could have been in pain AND he hurried so he could help me as soon as possible.
Here I was a contractor (not active duty), terrified of the idea of being on a military base as I had no prior exposure to military before, and was severely intimidated by everyone I ran into wherever I went. It was extremely obvious. Yet, he was extremely kind to me.
Not only that, but who has more responsibility and more important things to do: a vice-wing commander (someone who essentially runs an entire military base) or a maintenance guy? Who deserves more respect: a renter or a contractor?
Col Wimmer, I told you I’d never forget your kindness. I will always keep that promise.