Over the years, I've met a lot of nice people playing golf. The gentleman I met last week at The Golf Club at Terra Lago stands out as one of my most memorable encounters. I saw a guy moving carts and called out: "Where do I return my cart?" He replied: "I'll take you to your car and bring it back down." When he got to my cart, he asked: "When were you there?" He had seen my "Disabled Vietnam Veteran" ball cap. I told him. "Me, too." he said. " Where were you stationed?" When I told him, he said, "I know exactly where that is." The guy told me that I am only the third veteran he'd met who was in Vietnam at the same time he was.
By the time we reached my car, I learned the name of this Indio veteran. He is David. That's all I know other than he is a fellow veteran, delighted to meet another person who shares a similar military experience.
David went on to tell me about how it came to pass that he was in the U.S. Navy. He got the "certificated letter" in the mail, aka. the draft letter. David explained that before he opened the letter, he went to the recruiting station. The U.S. Air Force guy wasn't talking about anything that interested him. There was no U.S. Marine there that day. Then, he saw the U.S. Navy recruiter kicked back in his chair, drinking coffee, and reading a magazine. David told me, "I said to myself: 'Looks like a job for me.'" He shared with me that he was in Vietnam during the last days, helping evacuate people. "That was tough duty," David said.
As I closed the tailgate, I gave David a pen with my contact information and thanked him for his service. I invited, "Call me if you ever want to talk, David." it wasn't about business, just about two veterans staying in touch.
Without golf, I would not have met David from Indio. While golf is always good, meeting a fellow veteran and sharing a moment in time made the day very special.