On a recent Saturday, I was headed home after shopping for groceries and saw a young girl holding a handmade “CAR WASH — ONLY $5” sign. Thinking that it was another fundraiser for some positive local youth activity, I pulled into the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts on Rodi Road in Penn Hills.
A strikingly handsome black man who looked as if he could be an Olympic athlete came over and asked me to pull to the curb and exit the vehicle. I explained that I'd had two hip replacements, have COPD and lymphedema and would prefer to stay in the car. He asked about the COPD and I told him it had been caused by Agent Orange. His demeanor immediately changed.
He snapped to full attention with a razor-sharp salute; I returned his salute. He explained that he had been in the Army on active duty for two years and in the reserves for another 10 years.
When my car was sparkling, what turned out to be his family came over to its open window. He asked if I would mind if his family, including the young woman he had married only the previous Saturday, prayed for my health. We joined hands and prayed together.
We the people have grown tired of politicians trying to pull the wool over our eyes and divide us by using race as a weapon. Black, white, red, brown, yellow, green or chartreuse — there is one thing we all know: We are all Americans, believe in freedom and liberty, and will always find friendship and respect where some would sow enmity and dissension.
J. Terry Riebling
The writer is the author of the 2005 book “Sniper's Eyes” and co-author of the 2009 book “SEAL Warrior.”
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.