Just Walk Away

(A story of another time.)

As boys, Ricky and Jason were as close as two brothers could be even though they were six years apart. Ricky was the oldest, but Jason was the toughest.
Every time Jason would start a fight over some little thing, Ricky would always say the same thing”:

“Just walk away, Jase. Just walk away,” but Jason never did.

Jason was 13 when Ricky joined the Army and went away to war. He was 15 in 1972 when they brought Ricky’s body back from that little Asian country. Jason seemed to charge ahead even harder.

For the next 15 years, Jason didn’t walk away from anything. Jason rode Ricky’s old flathead Harley until it just plain wore out. Then he bought a newer shovelhead and went right back on the road.

Sometimes the road ended behind bars, but Jason was always back charging as soon as he was turned loose.

It was a bar in Virginia where it happened. Jason was about to start punching the guy on the next stool when he heard a voice behind him say,

“Just walk away, Jase. Just walk away.” It was Ricky’s voice.

Jason spun around, but there was no one there. He started to turn back to the other stool, but he didn’t. Instead, for once, he walked away.

Outside as he started the shovel he felt better than he had in a long time. He didn’t feel so damn alone.

During the next few months it happened again and again, Jason would start something, and he would hear that voice say,

“Just walk away Jase. Just walk away.”

Every time he walked away, he felt a little better. Finally, Jason even stopped “trying” to start things. When somebody else started, Jason would just walk away.

So it all led up to today. The long ride to Washington D. C. and that special monument.

Jason stood in front of those huge, black stone walls. He gazed up at all those names and looked hard at the one he’d traveled so long to find,

HENDERS, RICHARD M

It was Ricky. Jason softly whispered,

“I hear ya Rick. I heard ya.”

And Jason turned and just walked away.

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