It was a busy day out on the ocean. I had a family of three for a six-hour adventure. Another gentleman for a fishing trip. Then a run across the bay and back for a water taxi. I had been on the water for 12 hours – then got a call from one of our guests, who wanted to go fishing. I was booked all the next day, so the evening tide was the only chance. I met “JD” on the public dock at the harbor. He explained to me his desire to get out on the water for some adventure, and to get his first salmon. Apparently he was having trouble getting the rest of his party to commit, so he finally had to pull the trigger on it by himself. I imagined, if I were him, I wouldn’t want to talk about wars or service. I’d want to enjoy the beauty of Alaska and wrestle with some salmon. So I explained about the scenery, the fish we were going to get, and how we were going to get them – commenting on the wildlife as we passed. JD offered that he had served in Vietnam, and commanded a group of 600 International Troops in Kosovo – until he was hit by a mortar and injured from his left knee to his left chest. He explained that he had undergone five surgeries in an effort to get his body functioning – but was having much difficulty walking, putting weight on his leg, and having stamina and endurance to fish. We got to the salmon spot, and I helped JD with his casting and fishing technique. It wasn’t long before he hooked several salmon, and then stated “I think I’ve had enough. I just wanted to see what this was like, and be able to say that I had done it.” I had a strong sense that it was part of his bucket list. I really enjoy military vets – and JD is no exception. So appreciative. So respectful. He kept telling me over and over how much he enjoyed it, and how grateful he was to me. Well – it was more in line for me to be saying that, and, it was the least I could do – to take him out on the ocean for an enjoyable evening. Here’s a picture of JD and I at the dock upon our return.