Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/114651/domains/thesocialsilo.com/html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1122

I took a big risk this week when I OK’d my editor to open my mail. I work for Farm and Dairy out of my home in Wooster, Ohio, and an envelope arrived at the Salem office addressed to me.

She read the sender’s name — a Patrick Brannigan from Wadsworth — and I honestly couldn’t remember him. The last name sounded familiar, but I still wasn’t sure who it was.

So I told her to open it, while I secretly held my breath.

When you write for a publication that gets sold to 30,000-plus people and read by two-three times that many, you get a big range of feedback. Sometimes it’s nice and kind, and sometimes it’s the opposite.

Fortunately for me, the letter she opened was of the “nice and kind” type. I haven’t read it yet myself, but the writer commended me for an article I wrote a few weeks ago about a WW II military plane fly-in held in North Canton at a military aviation museum called MAPS.

From what I could tell, the guy wrote some very nice words to me and I look forward to reading it myself in a few days. I’m also glad I gave my editor the go-ahead to open it.

But I’m even more happy about satisfying this man. As I searched his name on the Internet, I actually learned a lot more about him than I had found out the day of the story.

I stumbled across this nicely put together YouTube video that shows images of Patrick, when he was commander of an anti-aircraft gun crew. He operated a 90 millimeter anti-aircraft gun — all things I didn’t know.

His crew went into combat in October of 1944. They fought in the Philippines for six months, then moved to the battle of Okinowa until the war ended in 1945. In all, his crew shot down more than 30 enemy aircraft, according to the video.

The only reason he was in our paper was because he was part of a picture I took of all the WW II veterans standing in front of a B-17 bomber. I only talked to him long enough to get his name and his address, because he requested a copy of the paper.

I’m just glad I got to talk to Brannigan and the other veterans for as long as I did. When you consider all that they did for all of us, writing a story they could appreciate and sending them a free copy was the least I could do. And I was more than glad to do it.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
View all posts by Chris Kick

Related posts: