At my first college I was a resident assistant. One of the benefits of being an RA is that you get your own room. This, however, was not the case for me. My roommate turned out to be a 32 year old ex-Navy Seal. Sounds intimidating, right? At first, yes. But he turned out to be a really great friend during a pivotal point in my life. While I have many memories from that time that involve him, my Veteran’s Day memory tends to stick out more than most.
I walked into our room after a long day of classes and saw him watching the evening news. Bill Clinton was presiding over a ceremony at the tomb of the unknown solider. My roommate made some sound of disgust. The following is the conversation that took place after that sound in its entirety. But like so many conversations with my roommate, it wasn’t the length that mattered.
Me: “You don’t approve of a draft dodger talking about veterans?”
Him: “No. I just think it’s a shame you have to be a dead veteran to be a recognized veteran.”