I arrived at my workstation and noticed that someone had left a memo on the computer screen. It stated, "All personal items, pictures, sayings, etc. need to be removed ASAP."
It didn't really bother me at first, as I have never been one to put up too many personal things in my area. Then, I looked to the station to my right -- there was a picture of a 1957 Chevy, the dream of a co-worker, a reminder for why they work so hard. It must come down. At the station to my left there was a picture of a cute little baby boy, my co-worker's first grandchild. It must come down. Also, at her station, was a little card that informed customers about the cost of questions. How many times did I hear laughter come from her area when someone read that card? Many a time. It must come down.
Well, I looked around my station, and low-and-behold there was a picture of a young man in uniform, from the 101st Airborne, serving his country in Kirkuk, Iraq -- my son. I had told my wife on the day he left, Sept. 24, 2005, that I was going to have that picture there on my counter until the day he safely returned. It would be my reminder to say a prayer for him every day, even if that prayer was only a sentence long. It must come down.
I guess my real question is: how does one picture of my son, serving our country in a far-off land, hurt anyone? I have had a grandmother mailing something to her grandson in Iraq, come back in a month later, and ask me how Andrew is doing. She surprised me by remembering his name and told me she prays for him, also. There is a Vietnam veteran who, whenever he comes in, always makes it a point to ask, "How's the boy doing?" I have had numerous customers, usually those from WWII, Korea, or the Vietnam eras, when they see his picture tell me to thank him for his sacrifice and service. I have not had one negative comment about his picture, yet it must come down.
I think it is a sad reflection on the state of our country, when our government, which I work for, is more concerned about my having a picture of a loved-one serving in a far-off land, at my station, than addressing many more important, pressing issues.
Gene Conroy, Payson