Thursday, October 22, 2015

A different Thursday ruck

Got started a bit later than usual today. Tracy's still in Vietnam and I got stuck on a business phone call. I felt good, the pack was light ( 44 lbs) and the weather was moderate. But I was hungry and ready to get it over with so I could eat.

On my second lap though I noticed a homeless guy sitting behind a tree. There are many homeless who call this park their home; I took note of him and walked on. He called out to me as I passed;" is that a Craft international patch"? At first I didn't know if he was talking to me or not and I forgot I had my Chris Kyle patch on my ruck then it dawned on me what he was asking.

I told him it was and walked over to him; he had to be a vet to know what the patch was. He was young and obviously homeless, we started talking about Chris Kyle and Craft Int and he told me he was a vet and had done two tours in Iraq as a Marine.
He asked if I was a Marine and complimented me on how I carried my ruck. No greater compliment to me than to be mistaken for a Marine :) We talked a bit more; he told me about his time in Iraq and how hard it was when he came back. But I had to go.I wished him good luck and told him I wished I had some money to give him and that if he were around here on Sunday am when I rucked I would help him out.

But as I walked away I realized my house was just two blocks away. The house that I owned with the car that I owned in front of it and plenty of food and warmth and money in it. I felt guilty about not wanting to break my training routine to help this guy out.

So I told him I would be back in ten minutes and to wait. I walked back home as fast as I could and made him a care package. A bunch of cooked bacon I had in the fridge, a handful of quest bars, shortbread cookies, a box of tricuits, a Craft International t shirt I had just lying around, a casio watch I didn't need , a small bottle of moonshine and $100 in 20's.

I had no idea what he would do with the money but I didn't care. It felt great to be helping this guy out and these are the things I would want in his current situation.

When I gave him the  money he just about cried. He put the shirt right on and was as happy as I have seen a person in a long time. He stuffed the bacon in his mouth and promised me the moonshine wouldn't mess him up.

He had a son and a wife in modesto and  was trying to get back to them and now he could. He was 27 and said this was the first time anyone had helped him out on the street. He hugged me and shook my hand and thanked me over and over. He is the same age as my son.

I headed back to finish my laps and he headed to the train station to buy a ticket. I haven't felt this good in a long long time

44 lb ruck
6 laps
last lap time 7:45
helping a homeless Marine vet : priceless.



Diana said...

This gentleman's prayers were answered when you walked by!
It's truly an absolute shame how this country treats our vets. We give more the illegal immigrants than those that fight for our rights. I just don't get it.

Way to make this guy's life a whole bunch better.

Mark Reifkind said...

yes they were Diana and it felt so good to be able to help him. I could only imagine how I would have felt having someone lift me up a bit when I was down that far :)

Eddie Kowacz said...

Awesome're a good man. Respect and peace.

Mark Reifkind said...

thank you sir. I appreciate that, especially from you

Monika said...

I was going to say the same thing as Diana. I hope your help was a jumping point for him in a positive direction.
It was a meeting which turned out good for both of you! It's kind of funny how your need to exercise helped someone, and not in the usual way. :o)

Mark Reifkind said...

Monika I hope that it did but either way, the look in his eyes when he realized someone was giving him a leg up made at least gave him hope for awhile.

Morgan L. said...

That's a PR to be proud of.

Mark Reifkind said...

yes and one I won't ever forget