He was a quiet kid who came to my class in mid-year and it took a while to get to know him. As the tall, shy, new guy he did not participate alot in my science class at first.
Then one day, I mentioned miniature horses in a discussion on genetics. Pop! His eyes lit up and he spoke!
It turned out that miniature horses were his family's business. His dad worked on a nearby, well known mini-horse ranch and they lived on site. He stayed after the bell rang and talked about the tiny, trendy little horses and I learned alot that day.
After that, he spoke up more in class and gradually become more comfortable (I believe) in his new surroundings. Somewhere, in the next year or so, his family moved again and I lost track of him...until the article in the paper.
Another local soldier had died in Iraq. He left behind a wife and child. The picture on the page, the name...they seemed familiar, but I had to dig back in my memory. I had to dig all the way back to 1990 ...
It was him.
He was older, in his 30's, but the more I looked at the man in uniform, the more I remembered . Funny how the brain works, once I realized that this was the "horse kid", the images and conversations with him came rushing back even though we had crossed paths so briefly and so long ago.
On this Veterans Day, I'm remembering a shy kid who loved little horses.