Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why My Oldest Brother Is The Best Oldest Brother A Guy Could Ever Have

Maybe it's because he leads by example.

Maybe it's because he cares that much.

Maybe it's because he is SUCH a "Walker".

God knows he looks like our father's family.

God knows he has all the good traits.

God knows he has all the smarts one could ask for.

God knows he has a ton of compassion.

Ask the folks in post-earthquake Haiti.

He was there within a week doing what his nursing skills allowed him to do.

The other night he walked down to Christine's house here.

He had two items.

One for me.

One for our oldest cousin, Rick.

He gave me this.

This is a picture that means a lot to me.

On the lower right side is a bald guy.

He was a decorated Vietnam War veteran.

He was also a victim of "Agent Orange" Vietnam veteran.

In college he became our *surrogate Dad*.

Art Guimond was his name.

Cancer from the "Agent Orange" exposure killed him.

The one thing it couldn't take was what he taught us.

I do my best to honor him by sharing his words.

"Don't be afraid."

Three simple words.

They got me past my own father's death.

They got me through college.

They got me through the academy at the FAA in Oklahoma City in 1984.

They got me through my divorce.

Brave words spoken by a brave man.

I don't have to look up "brave" in a dictionary. All I have to do is see a picture of Art.

Oh, the other thing Kev brought over?


When our Dad passed away, his younger sister Betty gave some Walker family heirlooms to him.

As the oldest son of the oldest son, it made sense then and now.

Like I said, Kev is a "Walker" through and through.

You're looking at a slide rule in a leather case.

It belonged to Aunt Betty's first husband and the father of her first son.

He was killed flying a P-38 fight plane over Europe during World War 2.

Sadly, cousin Ricky never got to know the owner.

The man killed in the P-38 was his father.

However, cousin Ricky did do his father a great honor.

Cousin Ricky gave Uncle Rick's West Point gear to the museum at the Academy.

I cried great tears of joy for him to finally get some closure.

My mom and dad loved cousin Ricky.

I share that love.

Later this week, I'll do what Kev asked me to do.

The slide rule is going home.

Uncle Rick, you have a wonderful son.

I have no doubts he has the best of you and Aunt Betty in him.

Thank you for your service to our country and giving us cousin Ricky.

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

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