So I wanna be a good guy
I was doing my rounds at work one evening and saw some of our Security Officers preparing to lower the U.S. flag. I walked over towards them and watched as they ceremoniously and respectfully lowered the colors. They were extremely careful — every move was deliberate, meant to show the greatest respect to the flag and what it represents.
Off to the side, I noticed a small family of five with young children pause on their way to the parking lot in order to quietly watch all of this take place. They were close enough to me that I could hear a young boy, who couldn’t have been more than four or five years old, ask his Dad what we were doing. I expected to hear a simple explanation of how we were bringing down the flag to fold and put away for the day. Instead, I heard this father say, “Son, remember when Daddy was gone for a long time last year? Daddy and his friends were taking care of people who really needed our help. And this flag was our symbol. Everywhere we went, people who needed help saw our flag and knew that we were the good guys and that we were there to help. These guys are taking special care of the flag because it represents good people, who are trying to do good things.”
I was so touched by this man’s words but didn’t dare turn towards them and risk interrupting this teaching moment between father and son. I stood there quietly watching the flag as they began folding it, in what now seemed like slow motion.
I had to control my emotions when I heard the little boy say, “Daddy when I get big, I wanna be a good guy and help people as you do.”
The family was just out of range of my peripheral vision, so I couldn’t see the look on his face, but I could feel the pride this father must have felt at that moment and the emotions he must have been feeling. It was a quiet reminder for me to be grateful for the “good guys” from every nation, who put on the uniform of their country and leave their families to protect those in need.
Mahalo! Fa’afetai tele! Thank you to all the good guys.