(In Memory of Richard Geer - September 9, 1921 - April 11th, 2019)
I wonder sometimes how often we miss the HEROES AMONG US . . . so often simple people who have accomplished the extraordinary. People who have experienced the world in ways very few of us ever have or will. People who have stories that will never be captured in storybooks or big screen productions . . . though the stories have the power to change lives (our own included) if we would only take the time to listen.
Richard Geer was one of those heroes.
One of the last remaining survivors of World War II, Richard received a purple heart and bronze star for his service in the infantry (and several other medals as pictured above). I remember listening to his daughter, Carolyn, as she explained the medals given to dad following the war. Purple Heart. Bronze Star. Army of Occupation. The list goes on. There was a sound of pride in her voice as she shared. You could tell her Dad has always been HER hero.
We are proud to say he was one of ours, too, as we had the privilege of coming alongside Richard’s family to support his “quality of life” in his later years. Thankfully, we always knew where to find him . . . on his front porch swing, enjoying an afternoon nap or a visit from a friend in the cool of the day. After all, that was the place where his Encouragement volunteer, Shane Carlson, would settle in for their regular time together (pictured below). And that was the place where kids and adults alike would gather to hear his silly songs and celebrate his birthday with balloons, cupcakes, and laughter all around (watch the video recap here).