So I’ve owned up to being A.D.D./A.D.H.D, and that explains a bit of my poor performance in school in my early years. It may also explain a bit of my impulsiveness, inattention, and hyperactivity as a child and as an adult.
When I was a kid, I was Trouble with that capital T. I couldn’t seem to control my inattention, my off-task behavior, my risk-taking behavior, my failure to learn as fast as the other kids, my inability to complete tasks, and my penchant for taking up new interests when old interests quickly faded.
As a kid, I was a mess. But I did squeak through high school, thanks to my supportive parents and a few teachers who seemed to take special interest in me.
Along the way, I discovered strengths that have helped me become successful in life. In fact, I might even call those strengths “my superabilities.” Once I identified them, my life changed, perhaps not in a way my teachers or parents wanted, but in a way that enabled me to take charge of my chaotic life.
I was neither a good reader nor a good writer in school, but I was a good talker. I could talk to anyone about anything, anytime. My friend Tony and I spent hours shooting the breeze, meandering all over God’s creation in words.
That ability has helped me throughout my life.
Today, for example, as a U.S. Air Force veteran, I went to a special luncheon for veterans at the SW Florida Military Museum in Cape Coral, Florida. What a ministry of sharing with these men and women! I engaged with about a hundred different folks gathered at the museum for their popular free Tuesday Lunch for Veterans.
Talking to retired military personnel gives me a boost. They wear their labeled hats with medals, shirts with their branch of service, and even full military uniforms with medals and service bars. I hopped from table to table, eager to meet and greet each one of them.
I loved hearing their stories about where they served, about the friends they served with, and the things they will never forget. Above all they expressed their love for the military and the country they proudly served. And they are so open and honest about their faith in God.
These veterans wear their uniforms, caps, and identifying tee shirts with great pride. One 91-year-old Navy Captain with over thirty years total service in the US Army first, then the Navy, joins this group every week wearing his dress whites complete gold shoulder stripes and campaign ribbons. He has stories to tell about World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam. What a wise and dedicated man, and so proud of his country.
I was so excited to talk to each one of these men. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. My eyes were wide and my heart burst with pride as I looked around the room and saw these role models of bravery, loyalty, commitment, and determination. I wanted to hear all of their stories, but time wouldn’t allow that. I will just have to come back for another visit.
I thanked these fine men for their service and offered to pray with them, which they graciously accepted. Our veterans worked hard and sacrificed much to guarantee our freedoms in America. God bless them.
The Veterans museum proudly displayed our book Triumph Over Terror about my experiences as chaplain at Ground Zero after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City on display. I was so moved by this lovely gesture. God bless you and all our Veterans.