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I hope you all have had a nice summer thus far. As the days start to shorten, and we start getting the first 'crisp' in the air, we realize that, at least in Michigan, that change is just around the corner, and autumn will soon be upon us. Enjoy the next few weeks of summer's final hurrah. 

In July, Margaret and I got a chance to go out to Oregon and visit with Chris, Amanda, and Alexa. What a fun time we had. Spending time with Alexa was like a 'Blast From The Past' for me to a time when our boys were that little. Although, I'm sure we had more energy back then, the wife and I were stilll able to keep up with her. We can't wait until their visit with us in September.

I hope you all have a chance over the next few months to join us in our second season of the McCarty Metro NFL Pigskin Pickem contest. Last year was a doozy that went right down to the Super Bowl. Also, keep in the back of your mind, our first 72 hour film project. Preliminary information is in this issue as well. This edition is the first of 4 consecutive monthly issues, finishing off 2012. Please help us out by submitting photos, articles, for some of these issues. I can really use the help.

As I was preparing the Metro and thinking about a final thought this month, I came across this story. Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. I am going to work on recognizing and thanking those that impact my life, both in the workplace and home. I hope it has an impact on you as well.

Who Packed Your Parachute?

Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, you're Charles Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!" 

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. 

"I packed your parachute," the man replied. 

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today." 

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: A white hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor." He also thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know. Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" 

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. 

Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety. 

His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead. As you go through this week, this month, this year ... recognize those people who pack your parachute! 

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