03/07/14 Bus Stop Dreams_Kathleen Dreier
I approached Barry who was standing next to his bike with his foot up resting on the bench, reading a manual of some sort. I introduced myself and with piercing, attentive eyes, he welcomed participating in Bus Stop Dreams.
Where are you going?
(Pointing to the city bus in front of us) “Well, I'm off to take the test to hopefully become a driver for Sun Tran. I already know how to drive an 18-wheeler.”
That's wonderful Good luck! What are your dreams for your future?
“I want to have a good, secure job and I want to have a better relationship with my daughter. I'm homeless and staying in a place where I am studying for this new opportunity.”
I see you have served in the military.
“Yes, Desert Storm.That is why I always have this hat with me.”
I imagine you have seen horrible things.
“Yes. Having to kill or to take a life changes you and not in a good way. I still struggle with what happened in Desert Storm. They teach you how do something but they don't teach you how to turn it off and then they take away funding and your benefits. Even our politicians who were former military have played a part in removing funding and benefits.”
He gave me a bit more information:
“On Fridays, we wear red...any type of red. It's a way that we honor anyone who has ever been deployed, current or past.”
Despite this man's hardship, he greeted me with warm eyes that called out for connection and his voice was as jovial as it was sincere. I hope he passes the test, gets his dream job, reconnects with his daughter, and finds inner peace.