Week 1 Linn
I met Warren at a Starbucks at 4 p.m. on a Thursday, Feb. 7. He said he was pretty flexible and, although I try to seem like I am to the people I have to meet with, I know that I’m not. So I was glad that he was pretty relaxed about when and where we met. I walked in a few minutes early and looked around, hoping he wasn’t there yet so I could set up my things and get a chai before he got there. I saw one man sitting by himself by the window and I looked at his cup to see if I could read the name written on it. I couldn’t, but I didn’t see a “W” so I didn’t think it was him; I was wrong. I sat down behind him and took out my notebook to the page I had written my questions on when he turned and asked, “Are you Molly?” I said yes and invited him to sit down. I handed him the second War: Through Their Eyes volume and he flipped through it while I explained what the class was doing.
I thought it would take him a while to open up and give full answers to questions. I think it would be a tough topic to talk about and because that’s what I’ve experienced in the past when asking people about their life or career. But he jumped right in: When I asked when he enlisted, he not only told me the exact date, but also about the first time he tried to enlist (he was 16 and too young). For every question, he elaborated on his answers and welcomed follow-up questions. After an hour, I was starting to feel tired, but he seemed all right and I still had some unanswered questions, so I kept going. I’m glad I did because with my last question (Is there anything else you think people should know?) he expressed his sentiments about seeking help when help is needed – too many veterans take their own lives because of bottled up thoughts and feelings. He felt really strongly about this.
I’d say it was a good first meeting. We didn’t decide on a second one, but he reminded me of his flexible schedule, so I’m sure we’ll figure it out soon.