I met Dennis and his friend Lewis while visiting St. Louis, Missouri. They are veterans of the Viet Nam War. And they are homeless. Both seemed optimistic, and neither were bitter. Except for the use of Agent Orange, the highly toxic defoliant used by the US government. Neither Dennis nor Lewis were directly harmed by Agent Orange, but they knew men who were.
Between them on the bench was a brown paper
bag, containing a beer that they were sharing. Although homeless, a place to
sleep at night was not their immediate concern. The next meal was not their
immediate concern. Their immediate concern was finding tickets for that
evening’s baseball game. We were a few blocks from Busch Stadium, home of the
St. Louis Cardinals.
Notice that both hats have the St. Louis Cardinals logo. The Cards were to play the Los Angeles Dodgers that evening, in the first game of the American League Championship Series. After we spoke for several minutes, Dennis asked if I could help them with money for game tickets. Well, I am sensitive to the plight of the homeless (especially veterans) and I am not adverse to giving a little money for food. But Championship Series baseball tickets?? I donated enough for a sandwich, but did not feel like mortgaging my house for baseball tickets.