A Brother Like That

by Don Clark, and with commentary by Illene Roggensack

A friend of mine named Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a young, roguish-looking kid was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it. “Is this your car, Mister?” the boy asked.

Paul nodded. “My brother gave it to me for Christmas.” The boy was astounded. “You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn’t cost you nothing? Boy, I wish…”

Paul knew what the boy was going to wish – for a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way to his heels.

“I wish that I could be a brother like that.”

Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he responded, “Would you like to go for a ride in my new car?”

“Oh yes, I’d love that!”

After a short ride, the boy turned with his eyes aglow and said, “Mister, would you mind driving in front of my house?”

Paul smiled a little. Again, he thought he knew what the lad wanted…to show his neighbors that he was riding in a big, new automobile. But he was wrong again. “Will you stop at those two steps?” the boy asked.

The boy ran up the steps. In a little while, Paul heard him coming back, but moving quite slowly. The lad was carrying his younger, handicapped brother. The boy sat his brother down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up again him and pointed to the car.

“There she is, buddy, just like I told you! His brother gave it to him for Christmas and it didn’t cost him a cent. And someday I’m gonna give you one just like it…then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Christmas windows that I’ve been trying to tell you about.”

Paul got out of the car and lifted the younger child to the front seat. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside the small child and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride.


May each of us be a brother like that!

May each of us be a brother like Jim Doody, native of Grand Junction, Colorado. Jim’s brother, Tommy, piloted a UH-1H “Huey” helicopter during the Vietnam War. Tommy was killed during the Lam Son 719 mission in Laos, 1971.

Jim was 17 years old when word came that his older brother had died. That was more than 30 years ago. But, being ‘a brother like that,’ Jim has spearheaded the effort to remember and honor his brother – and others’ brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers – with the Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Park.

As founder of this amazing Memorial, Jim has dedicated the better part of his adult life to planning and dreaming of this tribute to those who served our country during the Vietnam era, 1959-1975. The Memorial will include a static display of a Huey helicopter. Surrounding the helicopter display will be a wall honoring the men and women who served in Vietnam, including those 55 Western Colorado residents who were either killed or missing in action. The United States flag, Colorado State flag, Vietnam Service Ribbon and emblems of all five branches of the U.S. Military also will be displayed.

The Memorial is to be located at the Colorado Welcome Center in Fruita, set in a park area with pleasant landscaping and benches, encouraging visitors to linger and reflect on the significance of the Memorial and those it honors.

Dedication of the Memorial is set for 9 a.m. on Independence Day 2003. Please join us at Third Sector Innovations as we honor those who serve, and as we celebrate with one of our best friends, ‘A Brother Like That’ Jim Doody.

Strong Leaders / Strong Stories

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