Rodney M Bliss

A Chance to Serve Those Who Serve

I love the military. I mean, I REALLY, love the service. I stand for the flag. I have an entire playlist devoted to patriotic songs.

I have a daughter who is on active duty serving over seas. She’s a captain in the Army. She’s also a veterinarian. . .in the Army. I couldn’t be prouder.

I have a son-in-law who is in the National Guard. Pretty sure he’s a private or maybe PFC, but not much above that. He’s been in less than a year. He’s in a construction engineering unit. I’m very proud of him.

My family has been serving in this country’s military since before we were a country.

I also have a friend who is in the Army. He’s serving on the Southern Border. He’s been deployed for several months. I think he’s in Arizona or California at this point. As a native Spanish speaker, and being part of a Military Intelligence unit, I don’t ask too many questions.

We’ve been friends a long time. We were both Scout leaders. We live two blocks away. I taught his kids when they were Webelos. They are the same age as my boys. My friend doesn’t work on cars. But, he’s happy to let me work on his.

He has a truck. A couple years ago he asked me for help on his truck. It was having trouble starting. It didn’t take long to figure out that his battery needed replaced. Once I told him that, he took care of it himself.

He’s been gone several months and his truck has been sitting in front of his house. He thinks he might be back in a few weeks. He asked me to take a look at his truck. His wife thinks it might be the starter.

I tried to jump start his truck and while it would crank (slightly,) it really wasn’t interested in starting. I pulled the batter out of his truck and took it to my workshop. . .I mean garage. That makes it sound like I have a mechanic’s garage. I just have a regular garage. But, it’s full of tools. Including a battery charger/tester. I put my friend’s batter on and after just a couple of minutes the BAD indicator lit up.

So, I went to the auto parts store. My friend bought a Super Start battery back when he replaced his battery three years ago. I go to this auto parts story a lot. As in, if my wife wanted to find me on a Saturday, this would be the first place she’d look.

They REALLY wanted to help me replace the battery. But, all I had was my friend’s name but no receipt. Who keeps a receipt from two years ago?

I really want to help. And you come here a lot. The easiest thing is if I can find where someone else bought one of these batteries and I’ll just return that one.


Not to put any pressure on you, but the battery is for a US Soldier who’s currently deployed.


Well, I’ve found one here that might work. What did you say your friend’s name was?

Yes, they tried to pull a random purchase and it was my friend. They printed out the original receipt and the replacement receipt. I tend to keep all my automotive receipts. . .forever.

So, I got to call my buddy and tell him that his truck was good as new. And because I have loyalty to my local auto parts store, it was no charge. And I’m certainly not charging him for my work on it.

I may not have ever got to serve. But, serving those who serve is almost as good.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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