I postponed writing this because I had a really busy week. I knew that I wanted to write about this story, but I didn’t realize that it connected with Veteran’s Day until I reopened it. So, I’m late, but I hope you enjoy this story.
I don’t read a lot of fiction, but what I sometimes pick up is short stories. That’s how I ended up with “Uncommon Type: Some Stories” by Tom Hanks (Knopf, 2017). The story “Christmas Eve 1953” got stuck in my head. This is the story of Virgil Beuell, who came back from World War II service with an artificial leg and missing some fingers on one of his hands. Virgil reminds me to also be really grateful for heat and hot water. “After buying the house, he self-installed a furnace that was far oversized for the modest home. He put in, too, a beast of a hot-water heater…” It’s a lovely story, honoring Virgil’s success as a “working man,” his passion for his wife, and his love for his kids. Finally his annual connection with his buddy from the service. We learn about his war service, how he met his beloved wife, and how he got injured.
So I recommend this story, in honor of our wounded veterans, who come back as members of the disabled community.