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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Andy's Angles: The Ride

It's something I've been doing for the past five years-- stopping by the SGT Jan Argonish Memorial Ride.  SGT Argonish was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.  Sunday's ride was the 10th annual.

I first met Jan's father when a park was dedicated in Jan's name several years ago.  Mike Argonish was already a member of the gym I joined in 2012.  We were frequently there at the same time-- the middle of the night.  I always looked forward to our conversations.  It was amazing that a man who had endured so much pain could always bring a smile to my face with a little story, or even something as mundane as small talk.

I put Mike on TV a few times over the years.  It was clear he didn't like the spotlight, and wasn't comfortable with it.  Yet, Mike knew the value of publicizing the cause.  He didn't go on TV for me.  He did it for Jan and all those helped by the charity.  Mike was more than kind and generous with his time.  The yearly ride raises thousands to help veterans.  This year's take was about $30,000.  That's impressive.

I didn't meet Jan's mother, Nancy, until late last year.  I was in the hospital with my father, who was having a procedure.  To say the least, it was an exceptionally difficult day, and a very long day.  Nancy's kindness and professionalism made it much easier on my father and I.  Like her husband, Nancy isn't fond of the spotlight, but fate had other plans.  I can feel the family's pride.  I can also see their pain.

I always remember something my old friend Kevin Jordan said close to twenty years ago.  A co-worker lost a son in a crash.  We were at the funeral home.   Kevin said something that horrible shouldn't happen to a family so nice.  The same could be said of the Argonish  family.

Although I'm sorry about the circumstances that brought me in to their orbit, I'm happy I know them.