Today is an extra special Thanksgiving Day here at Firebase TigerLily and its all because of something that happened twenty years ago . . . S.L.
I'd just come home from a deployment and my trusty roommate Bobby McGee - that was his name I sh*t you not and its written up on the wall at USASOC because he died in the Philippines in 2004 - had cleaned out the fridge before he left town for the Thanksgiving weekend, just prior to my getting back.
There wasn't even a beer in there which was rude because I know I had more than a six pack in there before I left. Of course I can't hold it against Bobby now because his ransacking the fridge led directly to what this post is really all about.
So I picked up the phone and called my good buddy Phoophakdee (yes, you guessed it, he is Thai) and said, "Hey Phoo, how do you do?" Conversations with Phoo always start that way because it rhymes, right? "Guess what? I'm coming over to your place for Thanksgiving!"
That's right - I invited myself over to Phoo's house for Thanksgiving dinner.
Phoo said, "That's good, man! Because there's somebody over here I think you'd really like meet!"
When I walked in the door at Phoo's place, I could see across the place to the dining area (which would be a breakfast nook if the house had an actual dining room). Sitting at the table was a beautiful Korean girl, and I knew right away who she was, even before we'd been introduced.
Yes, sometimes I am clairvoyant but this time I had 'a little help from my friends'. An explanation: Phoo was married to a Korean girl, who'd often told me about her 'big sister'. This is 'sister' in the way that Oriental girls sort of label their best friends. I knew right away that this was the girl she'd often told me about.
We were supposed to link up when we were all in Okinawa, but somehow whenever the big sister was on the island, I was off someplace in Southeast Asia, and whenever I was in Korea, the big sister was in Okinawa. Somehow we never got together over there. This is how I knew who she was, the moment I laid eyes on her.
But something else happened right away - and that's the other reason I included the Sgt Pepper's vid clip. In the follow-on song, A Little Help From My Friends the chorus asks "Do you believe in love at first sight?" and John replies "Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time."
I'm here to tell you that this is true. The split second I laid eyes on her, I knew who she was, and I knew that she was for me.
That was twenty years ago - ten months later we were married. Today marks the beginning of our twentieth year; we will be celebrating special dates as the year rolls by. I can honestly tell you that every bit of success I enjoy in my life is due to my lovely wife's influence and hard work in driving me to succeed. If it wasn't for her I'd still be living in a doublewide out in the woods, probably driving the beer truck and thinking that I was living large.
I love you TigerLily - yesterday, today and forever!