The young guy in the hoodie, who seconds before had been precariously balanced on the hood of a car running a red light through a crosswalk, was now wandering in small circles in the street, confused and in pain, holding what was surely a broken arm.
The black SUV that hit him sped away as I tried to get the license plate number. Soon help arrived, and I was able to leave to get to a doctor’s appointment for my son, but I wasn’t able to leave behind what I saw.
I spent the day trying to absorb one person’s total and complete disregard for another person’s well being.
I’m sure acts like this happen every day.
In fact, when I called the police later that day to check on the victim, the officer I spoke to told me two pedestrians, including the one I had seen, had been struck within minutes and blocks of each other that morning.
Today after my son’s appointment, I went to my other son’s elementary school to help distribute certificates and ribbons to PTA Reflections program participants.
The display case of Reflections participants’ artwork abutted another display case full of medium sized shipping boxes and khaki t-shirts showcasing a community-wide service project dubbed Operation Rover Nation which according to their website, aims “to bring a bit of home to deployed troops.” (https://sites.google.com/a/eastonsd.org/operationrovernation/home )
The service project works with the national organization Herobox, and matches interested students, staff and community members with soldiers stationed overseas to send them monthly care packages.
So on Valentine’s Day the Easton Area School District will be awash in a sea of khaki shirts emblazoned with the Easton bulldog emerging from a Herobox instead of the traditional red shirts with glittery hearts and roses.
My ten-year-old son asked if we could sign on to sponsor a soldier and has been wildly enthusiastic about helping not only that soldier but also other soldiers enrolled in the program who aren’t yet sponsored.
“The one thing that I do really miss from back home are chips,” our soldier wrote to my son, “Unfortunately we have none of those here. It's a snack that everyone appreciates.”
Utz, Martin’s Chips and Wild Bill’s Beef Jerky have responded to my son’s emails by generously sending cases of chips and bacon jerky to help fill the boxes that will be sent to the military personnel that put themselves in harm’s way each day.
As Kelly Bean, the Easton Area School District Gifted Support Teacher, who is spearheading this initiative for the district put it on the Operation Rover Nation site, “We hope to see the community join us as examples of what it looks like when citizens take the initiative to step up to the plate when it is just as easy to keep on walking.”
It might not have been an easy walk for the pedestrian I saw hit earlier today, but neither is it ever easy when you’re miles from home serving in a country vastly different from your own. Just like the people who stopped to help someone struck down unexpectedly at a crosswalk this project shows our brave soldiers that we on the “home team” care about them. To help sponsor a soldier and show your “love” beyond Valentine’s Day, you can go to Facebook and “like” Operation Rover Nation.