As I was leaving the complex yesterday I saw Bill......Bill was trying to work his way up a small incline in one of the halls coming up from the chapel into the main hall to the entrance of the building in his non-motorized wheelchair. A long way for a man who has had a major stroke, has limited mobility and very little ability to communicate with words. I asked if he would like me to push him to his destination and he indicated by blowing me a kiss that he would love some help. As I was pushing Bill along the gleaming halls I was thinking about Bill's life and what it had been and what it is now. Like all the veterans in this home and all the others scattered around the country there is a story of a life lived, sacrifices made, tragedies endured, triumphs and disappointments.
A home such as this is a great equalizer, your background, military rank, previous social standing and financial past are of no consequence here and Bill is a perfect example. He is a well educated man growing up in an upper middle-class home in the
So what makes Bill’s story different than all the veterans we passed as I was pushing him through the halls? Have you ever heard of William Merrill? I thought not, until I met Bill at the veteran’s home his name was not one that I recalled either. Are you are old enough to remember Watergate and President Nixon's resignation, I remember it vividly but still who is William Merrill? If you Google this man Bill Merrill you will find that along with many other notable achievements in his life William Merrill was the Michigan Director of the election campaign to elect Robert Kennedy as President, this however pales compared to being a Special Prosecutor during the Watergate Trials. If you asked G. Gordon Liddy, E Howard Hunt, John Ehrlichman and the list goes on who William Merrill is they would not hesitate in responding.
So what is my point, I don't think I have one? Was my pushing Bill to his destination anymore important than pushing any of the other hundreds of veterans struggling to get up a small incline? Because of his past was he more deserving of a helping hand? Of course not, no matter what our story is big or small we all need a little push from time to time, maybe that's my point.....and Bill's story is just a little education in our countries rich history.