"Driver, please pull over here and give me a minute. I have waited nine months and three days for this moment," said the young man as he moved in front of the cab. He did not want anything to obstruct his view of his home valley.
Being in the military, Andrew Jackson Toomes knew he would often be away from his beloved valley. However, it seemed these were the longest days, and weeks, and months that he had ever spent.
The tall young man was every bit a Marine. With a name like Andrew Jackson, he felt even more the compelling need to live up to the given name. He was following in the footsteps of his Father and several uncles. It was a family tradition to serve. After months in faraway places like Stuttgart Germany, Paris France and finally in Baghdad and surrounding places, he was a thankful man that he could come home in 'one piece'. He had many friends that could not say as much. A best friend had died in his arms after a particularly furious fight in Mosul. Andy shuddered as he turned back to the cab and the patient driver. "Thanks man! I needed that," he said.
"My pleasure son - I am honored to have you in my cab. Thank you for your service," answered the driver.
"Let's go home," said Andy. "I have folks waiting."
He did have folks waiting. However, his Dad was not one of them as he had died three years earlier from complications from agent orange acquired in Vietnam. But, his Mom would be waiting as would a younger brother and an older sister. Also, last but certainly not least there would be Martha. Sweet, sweet Martha had been very faithful to write and to e-mail him. How he longed to hold her in his arms again. Someday, after she finished college, Martha would be his wife. By that time, his enlistment time would be up and he and she would settle down in this valley near Tonasket, Washington and raise 'little soldiers'.
By William C. Highsmith - September 24, 2009