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Are those not words that we all would love to hear someone speak about us? Can you imagine if YOU – yes YOU, could actually make a difference in this world and in a person’s life? What more could we want than to help others? Making a difference make’s ALL the difference!

Today started off on the right foot for me. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. I walked up to get coffee at the local coffee shop and met a combat vet from the Vietnam War. He had served in the US Marines. What an amazing man with a heart wrenching story. God Bless him, and all our vets; and an extra ‘THANK YOU’ to our war vets.

Here is a man who has fought for our country, came home and had to adjust to civilian life. It’s next to impossible. Going in, he had no idea of the war he’d be facing when he got out. None of our young men and women are prepared for this sad and horrid truth. No one prepares them or their loved ones for what’s to come.

A few years back when I was working with homeless people, I met a few vets. I heard their stories, yet until today, I truly did not understand what they were telling me. I could not comprehend how they lost everything; their families, their friends, and how they ended up on the street, fighting battles that go on in their head day-to-day and fighting addictions as well. It didn’t make sense to me how they were alone yet had family and friends around that could have supported them. Was there something I was not being told? Why was no one helping them? Now I understand a little more, although I will never completely grasp what they are battling and what they are going through. How can I? It’s impossible. My eyes have not seen what theirs have. But I do know that it’s not that their loved ones turned their back on them, it is that they, themselves, have turned their own back to the world. It’s not their fault. It’s war’s fault.

The man I met today can now help others by telling his story. He doesn’t have to share, but he chooses to. He can truly make a difference in the lives of others. A friend who has been there, walked the same path you have walked, wore your shoes, and have seen what you have seen, is the difference that we all need!

He told me a little story before leaving today, I’d like to share it with you:

There was a man who fell into a deep, dark hole. The walls were wet, slippery and steep, there was no way he could climb up them and get out. After being stuck for a while, he heard a priest coming and yelled out to him, “Father, Father, I have fallen into this deep hole and the walls are wet and slippery, I can’t grasp them to get out. I’m stuck, help me!” The priest replied to the man that he should come to church on Sunday and meet with him after mass. He then tossed his card into the hole, and left. The man thought to himself, “Gee thanks Father.”

Then he heard someone else coming, this time it was a doctor. He hollered up from the hole, “Doctor, doctor, please help me! I’m in this hole and can’t get out.” The doctor took out his pad, wrote out a prescription and threw it down into the hole. He told the man to get the prescription filled and then to call and schedule an appointment with him. The man in the hole could not believe this.

Soon after the doctor had walked away, he heard yet another man coming. This time it was his friend. Oh, the man was so happy; he called out “Joe! Joe! It’s me, I need your help! I fell into this deep, dark hole with wet, slippery walls. I’ve been trying to get out, but I can’t. Please get me out of here!” Joe looks down at his friend and then jumps down into the hole with him. The man starts freaking out screaming “Joe, what the heck have you done? Oh my gosh…now we’re both stuck. Why’d you do this Joe?” Joe put his hand on his friend’s shoulder and said “I’ve been in this hole before, I know the way out.”

Does that story give you goose bumps or what? It did me. The power of a friend. We should all be that certain friend to those who could use our help! I’m sure we all have a story that others would benefit from. Have you shared your story in the efforts to help others? The world is a better place when we reach out to those in need.

I love our soldiers! They truly make a difference in this world! God bless the USA, and God bless our troops and veterans! We needed our troops, now they need us! Support our vets, be there for them!

Have a wonderful, blessed day!