Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Short Story of Brotherhood and Solidarity

As I have said in many of my posts, my blog is designed for the family and friends of GONZALEZ Sailors. It is also my personal blog though, and so I am taking a moment with this post to share an amazing story of brotherhood and solidarity.

Following an appointment at Portsmouth Naval Hospital today, I stopped by the barbershop in the hospital to get a haircut. I had to wait for a short time as one barber was cutting the hair of another man and the second barber was preparing to give a young man a haircut. The young man whom I would have guessed to be about 17 or 18, had somewhat long hair and was accompanied by his mother, his aunt, and two younger cousins who also had long hair. As he sat down in the barber chair, I realized this was a special day and a special haircut. As the barber proceeded to give him a military style crew cut, his mother took pictures while his younger cousins watched with smiles of anticipation. Because I was in a military hospital and in my opinion, at least one if not both of the women where clearly military spouses, I presumed the young man was having his head shaved in advance of joining the military, probably the Marine Corps, or so I thought to myself.

It was what happened next that surprised me. As I sat down in the other barber chair for my own haircut, the other barber finished shaving the young man's head, and then the two younger cousins each took a turn getting their own heads shaved. All the while more photos were taken, and I started to overhear comments between the two sisters, the mothers of this trio of boys, of how nice it was of the two younger boys to support their older cousin.

After the five of them left the barbershop, the barber now cutting my hair said to me, "Wasn't that nice. That young man has cancer and has to receive chemotherapy treatment. His cousins had their heads shaved too to support him."

I do not know the families involved and I may not have all the facts right based on my observations alone, but without question for me it was one of the most heartfelt moments of brotherhood and solidarity I have ever personally witnessed.

No comments: