The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

April 2, 2014

Be nice to a veteran


Tuesday, April 1, 2014 — Be nice to a veteran

Charles Plumb was a Navy pilot, who on his 76th combat mission over North Vietnam, was hit by a surface to air missile and had to eject. He parachuted into enemy hands and spent the next six years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He survived and now lectures on life’s lessons learned from that ordeal.

While he and his wife were having a meal in a restaurant, a frumpy old man from the next table approached him and asked, “You’re Plumb and you flew off the USS Kitty Hawk and was shot down over Vietnam, aren’t you?”  

Plumb answered, “Why yes, and how in the world did you know that?”

“I packed your parachute on the Hawk,” he said.

One never knows what turns life is going to deal. So, be kinder to that frumpy old man you scream by while he’s walking his dog along the side of the road, or sitting next to you in a café, wearing a funky ball cap with all those military pins upon it. He just might have sometime in the last 40 or 50 years, defended your freedom and security from your enemies, foreign or domestic.

Who packed your parachute?

Mickey Drye