ONE HALLOWEEN AT AN ATM IN GERMANY
Meeting a US soldier returning from Iraq
It was in the afternoon on Halloween. As if getting ready for this spooky holiday, the slowly setting sun resisted being tucked away for the night. The horizon glowed eerily with a mixture of vivid autumn hues against the darkening evening sky, setting the mood to welcome the enchantment of things to come: Excited children dressed as little perky princesses, spooky gremlins, ghoulish goblins, wicked witches, and playful ghosts.
I thought of the kids and their excitement of dressing up in their favorite scary costumes to roam the neighborhood for treats. Yet I wasn’t prepared with sweet treats for the expected onslaught of kids on their door-to-door hunt. I knew I had to get more candy, so I hopped in my car and drove to the ATM on the post to get some money.
After parking, I walked toward the ATM. Standing in front of the machine was a young man of about 20. I became amused, watching him frantically poking buttons on the machine as if he were under the gun to finish his column for a newspaper deadline. With his short buzz haircut and deeply tanned skin, I knew he...