"Leo Gibson is my name and I may
just be another face, another name, or another client to you. Not too many
people knew my past, my pain, or that I slept in a disabled car. You may see
my smile, but it is a front, for I still feel the loss of my wife who died six
years ago of cancer; and I still carry the memories of a young Marine serving
his nation in Vietnam.
I am mostly unemployed and
sometimes have nothing to eat. My only family, my sister, asked me to get my
disabled car out of her driveway and she shut off her outside water...so now I
had no water to clean up with. I'm not sure how I got in this mess. I got hurt
on the job a couple of times and maybe my fatigues and green cap scare people
away....Who knows? Does anyone care?
I work when and where I can.
I finally found rest in a friend's camper and shower at a friend's place. I
found daily encouragement from friends who helped me get retrained for work
that I could do. It was a friend who helped me find a new job. It was a friend
who gave me a ride, or meal in the evening. My friend gave me encouragement,
hope, a handshake and a pat on the back. My friends understood that I was not
a bum...but a person who just wanted to be loved, accepted and
self-sustaining...they believed in me.
My name is Leo Gibson. I
passed away January 5, 2001. I am gone, but I left this life knowing that I,
Leo Gibson...had friends. Thank you...for being my friend."
(Byron found Leo frozen to death in his camper
the next morning.)
Erickson, Veterans Rep at the Bozeman Job Service in Southwest Montana dropped
this off to me to include in the Chapter 788 newsletter. After reading it, I
asked him if I could share this with the VVA Talklist as I thought many of you
might appreciate it (in whatever way). He assured me he would be very pleased
if I did.
Only once do we pass this
Those people who come to us,
What will they say?
Were we processing people like so
Or were we seeing the person,
And making their day.
Some are hard to serve or
Truly each is worth a helping
It doesn't hurt to be a friend
For we know not when is their