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Did you know that a simple gesture could save someone’s life? No, that does not happen every time but it pays to be kind to someone.

Years ago a friend of mine in the Marine Corps was walking home from AO school one day when he noticed that the guy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all the books and stuff he was carrying, along with two backpacks, an dress cover, and a couple of other things.

He knelt down and helped the guy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked, he discovered the guy’s name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history. He was having a lot of trouble with his electronics class and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend.

He went home after dropping Bill at his house. They continued to see each other around barrack’s, had lunch together once or twice, and then both graduated from AO (Aviation Ordnance) school. They ended up in the same unit in Tustin California, with me, where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long-awaited transfer to the big time came to a unit in Iraq.

Three weeks before the move, Bill asked my friend if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Do you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things to the barrack’s that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my  girlfriends slipping pills and I was going home to commit suicide.

But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, my friend, when you picked up my belongings that day, that simple gesture, you did a lot more. You saved my life.”

You never know that but that few minutes you take to connect, that donation you make or just that random smile could change the life of many. It can do the same if you don’t…