Went to court today for my mess of a red light ticket.
Luckily, she ground it on down to the original ticket, so I go back to paying the original fine
($360 is still a RIDICULOUS amount, I say).
What was really interesting is the guy before me was in army fatigues. He had the same sort of ticket as I did. After the judge said he could pay for it and go to traffic school (the same as everyone else), he turned to return to his seat.
Then, she said, “Are you in active duty?”
He said yes. Then she asked if he had been to Iraq.
“Yes. For 27 months,” he responded.
She then excused his ticket, and dismissed all charges, in “the name of justice.” They both got a round of applause from the crowd.
I guess she figured if you can spend OVER TWO YEARS in Iraq, she can let a little ticket go. It was a pretty impressive scene.
Today, I found out today that my classmate from grade school was killed in Afghanistan. I haven’t seen Jake in several years, but this still hit me surprisingly hard. We come from a small town, went to a small private school. And maybe a bond like that never really goes away.
When I knew Jake he was just a wide-eyed gangly kid, wandering the playground like the rest of us. And always smiling.
He volunteered to return to Afghanistan for a second tour. He was proud of what he was doing for himself and for his country. It sounds like he had found purpose in life; that he was growing up.
Jake is the first person I have personally known who has died because of this war. Something like this can fuel an anger unrelenting. According to The Washington Post’s tally, 4,531 American soldiers have fallen in the Iraq and Afghanistan missions.
I wish his family the best and I hope they know how many people are thinking and praying for them.