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A Lucky Break

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“Honey, I’m home!” The creaky apartment door opened, and Rick Farrell stepped into the foyer. The smell of freshly baked brownies and Chanel No. 5 drifted underneath Rick’s noise. He loved this time of the day. He and his wife of nearly six months would make time to come home from their jobs and relax over a plate of freshly baked brownies. Rick walked into the kitchen of his newly purchased apartment, which ruled over the top a hill in Diane’s and was surprised not to find Diane.
“Honey,” He repeated himself only this time it was more of a question. Footsteps creaked down the hall, and a worried looking Diane Farrell appeared in the doorway. Her face expressed fear. It was one of the many things Rick had fallen in love with; the fact that she could always be read like a book. That obviously made her a horrible poker player, but Rick could manage the poker playing. He always seemed calm and composed. Diane held something out to him, and he realized it was a letter. His eyes wandered to the formal looking envelope he held, and he realized this was from the government. Right there, he knew. Rick tore the envelope open and read:

YOU HAVE BEEN INDUCTED INTO THE ARMY.



YOU MUST REPORT TOMORROW.
The beige walls of Rick’s apartment were closing in on him. Diane didn't have to read the letter; she could read it all on his face. Rick looked up, and he was surprised to find his eyes were dry, for now. He looked at his beautiful wife, and tears sprang to his eyes. She looked into his eyes, and nobody had to say anything. They ran into each other’s arms.
The last weeks were dreadful. Rick decided to stay strong for Diane and put on a smile, for Diane wept throughout the day and night. One week before Rick had to move to training camp in Kentucky, Diane decided she would make the move with him. They worked worked together to pack up their life. Rick and Diane counted down the days as if it were New Year’s, yet the were not excited when the day came.
A uproar of laughter arose from the group of young men; they had been in training for a little over one week. In the room, which smelled faintly of mold and hardship, twelve young men called it home. Their ages ranged from twenty to forty years. They sprawled out across the room, feet on the table and arms stretched out. The people obviously weren’t content with being there, considering they would be shipped off to Vietnam to die, but they had really grown attached to each other. Rick had met some lifelong friends. After a long day of training, the boys would spend most of their extra time, which wasn’t much, in their room. Rick appreciated this when he would be feeling kind of homesick(all the time), and he would feel much better after hanging out with his roomates. He found comfort in having a little bit of down time with the boys.
A filing clerk that Rick had seen around but never talked to walked through the door.
The clerk cleared his throat signaling everybody should listen him. This gesture earned him some nasty glares from Rick’s fellow room mates. The clerk went on, not noticing the glares.
“Who here can type?” The voice came out harsh.The men immediately sat up a little straighter. Rick Farrell reluctantly raised his hand, despite the fact all of the men in the military tell you DO NOT VOLLUNTEER.
“Great, you will stay behind and file new draftees!” The man pretended to sound excited, though it was obvious he could not care less.

The emotion, which had been kept inside of Rick, flooded out. I won’t be going to war, he had been expecting he would fly off Vietnam, where he would die in combat.

“You will report to my office tomorrow at nine!” On that note, the filing clerk left the bunk room.
When it was finally Rick’s turn to use the telephone, the emotion was bursting out of him. His fingers weren’t able to dial the numbers on the slippery phone fast enough.
“Rick, is that you?” That seemed to be how Diane Farrell answered every call lately.
“It’s me.” Despite all of the anticipation that came with this phone call, Rick Farrell was only able to stumble out a few words.
An awkward pause arose between the two people madly in love.
“So, what has been going on?” Diane broke the ice, but like always, there was always an elephant in the room when they talked. They both understood how much was on the line when it came to the war in Vietnam, and because of that there was so much emotion on both sides of the phone line.
“I won’t be going to Vietnam!”
After finding out he wasn’t going to Vietnam, Rick stayed put in Kentucky for about a year. Excited for his shift to be over, he was reassigned to Germany. Diane decided, once again, to pack up her stuff and move with him. Diane came from a middle class family where she didn’t get the chance to travel much. Rick and Diane enjoyed experience all of the perks of a new country together. They had a great time, but were excited to move back to their families after Rick’s shift. Looking back at these experiences, Rick Farrell claims he finally understood life changing events can be found in the smallest packages.



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