Monday, November 23, 2009

When It's Okay To Break A Promise

Dad in the N.C. National Guard
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When I was a baby, Dad joined the North Carolina National Guard. I was too little to really miss him when he was in basic training although when I was a little older, I do remember him going away from time to time. He always brought back fun stuff like smoke bombs and cool food kits that had neat little tins of food and bubble gum. He also brought back all sorts of stories that he shared with us over the years as we became age appropriate.
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One of the stories I will always remember was this one: After about two weeks of basic training, Dad noticed one of his fellow soldiers looking a little "green around the gills" as they say. Dad pulled him aside and asked him if he was okay. The man said, "I'll tell you something if you swear to never tell a soul." Dad vowed to keep the man's secret. The man then told Dad that he had not had a bowel movement since he had arrived because he could not bring himself to use the bathroom in front of other people. Dad wrestled with his conscience for just a very short while and then reported this to their drill sergeant. The man with the secret was taken immediately to the infirmary and Dad was told that he had saved the man's life.
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I think that story is important because there are times when you have to break a promise or break your silence. Someone's life may depend on it.

4 comments:

Jazz said...

Whoa... he did well to break his promise, but that guy had serious issues.

mrwriteon said...

Interesting, but truthful perspective.

Carole said...

Good story and lesson! You do have a lot of parallels in your life. :)

geewits said...

Jazz,
~~I imagine he learned a hard lesson. I don't know if he stayed in the service or not.

Ian,
~~Yes.

Carole,
~~I didn't think of that! So true.