By louis
Published: March 25, 2008

I was raised in a very small town, and lived on a street very much like all the others. Though I did not realize it at the time, much of what I see as reality today was formed there. At the end of the street and on the corner was a house, with a small building at the end of a short drive. In this small building Lucien operated a radio and television repair shop.

Lucien lived in the home with his Mother and younger brother Nick. Both Lucien and Nick had served in the war [WWII,] as had most of the men on my street. Nick however, had been badly wounded and though his wounds had healed, was no longer able to care for himself. He suffered from what we thought of as "shell shock." He had withdrawn within himself, I believe from things he had seen but no longer cared to recall.

Nick would walk up and down the street, staring ahead and sometimes laughing loudly. He was a menace to no one and Lucien cared for and looked after him. In time their mother passed away.

Everyday in his small shop Lucien would work, repairing radios and television sets brought to him by the town’s people. I would sometimes stop in and speak with him and it was clear he was a very skilled and talented individual. Still, here he remained in his small shop. It enabled him to watch over and care for Nick and provide for their needs.

Eventually Nick also passed away and later Lucien. I was still a young boy at the time and was asked by the family to help "clean up" the old house in preparation for sale. In the top of a closet, safely stored away someone came upon a small chest. In it were a large collection of battle ribbons, medals and citations both of the men had earned in their service to their Country.

Lucien had been a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and was highly decorated, on multiple occasions for heroism. It was clear that Nick had also seen more than his share of action. Technically either and both were heros, though one would never imagine such by observing or speaking to them.

Still heros they were, at least in my eyes and when looking back. Lucien spent his entire life in quite service of others. He provided and cared for his family while also providing a valuable service to the community. I often wonder when I hear people speak of leaving this trade, if they consider the value of the service they provide?

Lucien certainly provided an inspiration to me, though he may have never known. I think in managing a business it may be helpful to consider who may be watching and what message one might wish to convey.

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