As Veterans Day approaches, I'm reminded of what the brave military men and women have done for us. I'm grateful for their courage. But I'm also tickled by their humor, which twinkles like golden stars against the blackest night.
For example: Our neighbor, Ray, was a Navy aviator in the Pacific in World War II. Because it was such a serious, dangerous time for pilots, many of them tried to brighten things with a little harmless fun every once in a while.
After completing a spectacularly successful mission, Ray was flying back to base, grinning from ear to ear. Feeling friskier than usual, he signed off his radio communication with an exceedingly chipper, "Roger dodger!"
Immediately the airwaves crackled with the voice of a very irate officer.
"In this man's Navy," he began in a highly indignant tone of voice, "there will be no such a flippant remarks."
He went on to announce that he was a commander in the United States Navy. If he found out who the offender was, he would hunt him down and see him strictly reprimanded.
The officer blustered on, giving Ray time to frame his response.
Ray was polite. He did not try to break in. But when the agitated commander finally paused, Ray joyfully called into his radio: "Roger dodger, you old codger! I'm a commander, too!"
And that was the last he heard from his fellow officer.