You Never Know… That Guy Might Be A Vet.

On Saturday, I met a military Veteran named John.

(Turns out the day I was born, he was enlisting in the Marines.)  When I approached him, there’s no way I could know he was a Vet.

His hair and beard were long, scraggly, and white, kinda like a cross between Santa Claus and ZZ Top.  He was sitting in one of those motorized carts that heavy people use to get around, listening to some street musicians.

Most days, I’d probably just ignore this guy, but on this day I decided to not ignore people. (TWEET THIS!)

What a concept.

As we talk, I discover that in the past, he was a gifted athlete and that damage to his knees ultimately prevented him from walking.  Then, when he couldn’t get around, he started to put on the pounds.  And when he wanted to get surgery to replace his knees, the doctors told him he’d have to lose the weight first.  Kinda hard to do when you can’t walk.

As we hung out and chatted about life, suddenly his eyes lit up when the musicians played “Me and Bobby McGee”.

He commented that music was different back then.  And I said, “true”.

Then I asked him, “if you were stranded on an island with your iPod, and could only have one song in it, what would it be”?  He thought about it for a minute, then said, “The Weight” by The Band. I knew the song, but never really took the time to listen to the lyrics.

Then I asked him if he had it on his iPod now? He says “yep”.  And then he shows me how his grand kids helped him hook up a mono speaker on his cart since he can’t hear out of his left ear.

So I say “put it on, bro”!

He smiles, plugs it in, and we just sat there quietly, with him reminiscing to his favorite song.

My guess is I will probably never see John again, but in that moment two human beings shared a profound experience.

We shook hands, I thanked him for his service, and said a silent prayer for him as I left.

Thank you for that experience, John, and thank all of our Veterans for your service.

I’m curious to know what song YOU would have on your iPod if you were stranded and could only pick one?  Be sure to tell me why you chose that one, too!

ABOUT J. SHOOP – I’m J. Shoop, Author, Speaker, and Personal Coach.  I simplify achievement for entrepreneurs by aligning their outer results with their inner wisdom.  Let’s connect on Twitter: @jshoop or visit