Sunday, June 23, 2013

'Do More'

As I weaved my way into a window seat aboard a 47-minute flight from Memphis to Knoxville, I started a conversation with Charles; a 75-year-old retired schoolteacher from Prescott, Ariz.

I explained my summer fellowship and the reasons for my trip to Knoxville, to report on post-9/11 veterans. He grew more curious, telling me about his work with veterans as a rehab counselor.

Then, without much hesitation, he said: "Do more, the work you are doing is really important."

So, I will.

I am just about at the halfway point in my in-depth reporting project, but there is much more work ahead. In addition to finalizing published material, I can curate the extra content I have into different multimedia elements or just as standalone pieces.

Either way, it will be done.

Gradually into the conversation with Charles, he mentioned some of his health complications and I shared with him my 12-year (and counting) tenure with Type 1 Diabetes.

He shot off another quick reply.

"You're really needed," he said. "Make sure you take care of your Diabetes."