What The Man In The Wheelchair Taught Me About Caring

mother and her dead son statue

I’d like to share what I experienced the other day. It was on the bus. In the front row was a veteran, trembling in his wheelchair, still wearing his USA attire. His hair was long and grey; he looked worn out. At that moment, I wanted to see his point of view. I wanted to understand him a little better. I imagined what it would be like to experience life through his eyes.

The fight was tough but it was exactly what I had wanted. The amount of vigilance necessary in order to survive was demanding, I thrived off of that. Every day you don’t give a fuck what goes on out there, you go out there to do what they want you to do. There is a mission to accomplish and you’re making sure you keep your part, because you know you’re capable of it. When else are you tested to your full potential? This is what I live for, and if you would like to watch, go right ahead. Enjoy the show because I’m a fucking monster.

I imagined the days that made him a veteran and I pictured him as a total badass. I felt the thrill and surge of power that comes when you’re defending yourself. You’re sent over there for a reason, making your sole priority to accomplish the goal and survive. I could feel the hustle that it required.

Then I looked back to the man, and I was shocked at what had happened to him. What I pictured may not have been related to the actual events in his life, but at that moment, it was what mattered. There are many out there who have given their whole life in order to get it done. And after, they’re left like this: abandoned, alone, and just a shadow of who they once were. I couldn’t understand how someone could give it all, including their sanity, for an entity and be left to rot. Nobody deserves that treatment, nobody deserves to be thrown away. If you’re going to make a harsh environment where only the best thrive, respect the best and make sure they never go without.

Wheelchair on the beach

Then I realized that we had let this happen. There are situations which seems as if we have no power over, but we could. We always can. This is a problem that exists now, in the present, but will not be there in the future. I vow to change it. Because when you are a part of us, you are never forgotten.


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