Lean, Mean Car-building MACHINE!

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Some of you who know me well may know that our son-in-law, Ryan, is a veteran of the Iraq War.  Unfortunately, while he was there, a vehicle he was riding in was hit with an IED roadside bomb.  The force of the blast threw him against the side of his vehicle and smashed the cartilage between his pelvis and his femur.  Two surgical attempts last year to repair the damage came up short so in early December, he had to have his hip replaced.  That means 4-6 weeks of sitting around, taking it easy.  Nothing strenuous, no lifting heavy things (including our two grand children)… basically not doing much at all.

Well… being the considerate father-in-law that I am, I asked him if he would like an easy, comfortable, “sit down” project to kill some time.  Once I told him what it was, he readily agreed.  I only have about 200-odd cars that need assembled and he had plenty of downtime on his hands.  Sounded like a good match to both of us so I loaded up a couple of grocery bags with unassembled freight cars, threw in some couplers & some small tools and took them out to him.

A couple of days later, the phone rang and he had a couple of questions about building the cars.  A couple hours later, he called again with a couple more questions.  Later in the day, I called him to see how it was going and the conversation floored me; he had completed ALL 21 CARS IN ONE DAY!  Granted, they were relatively easy to assemble Athearn & MDC cars but still… about the best I’ve ever done was maybe three or four in one sitting so I was duly impressed with his efforts.  One of these days, we’ll all head out to his favorite restaurant and I’ll return the favor but I still feel his efforts earn him the title of “Lean, Mean, Car-building Machine!”

OK, I’ve been a little light-hearted about his efforts here but in all seriousness, let’s NEVER forget the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.  In a way, Ryan was lucky in that he came home and the injury suffered is repairable; if all goes well, he will be back at it, with no real limitations.  Many others weren’t so lucky.  So if you know a veteran, don’t forget to thank them for their service… and their sacrifices made for the rest of us.  Thank you so much, Ryan, for your service; we are ALL indebted to you.




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