A reporter's life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you are going to get.
Sorry for the cheesy Forrest Gump reference, but it seems to fit lately. I'm learning in this business there is no such thing as a typical week.
This is usually the time we are thawing out from winter and have all sorts of events planned to cover for the paper.
Which means I'm on the go as people in the area come out of hibernation and start interacting with each other. Well, it turns out we are not thawing out this year but it is still a busy stretch for me.
Last Thursday was a very interesting day for me. It started out with a visit to a preschool in Conrad where I took photos of 4 and 5 year olds with high school students serving as their mentors. The day ended as I interviewed a 90-year-old World War II veteran who will take the upcoming Honor Flight. The age span I covered in just one day was 4 to 90 years old. What a jump.
Speaking of these veterans, what an honor it's been to learn the stories of what is known as "The Greatest Generation." I will bring more to you leading up to the April 24 Honor Flight, then take the flight myself with even more coverage of the event.
I was floored when I was asked if I wanted to board the flight and it will be quite an honor. That has the makings to be one of the best days in my reporting career, being able to see how our area veterans react to seeing the World War II Memorial will be something special.
Hey, free meals at meetings I'm covering are quite the perk to this job now and then, but you can't top a free flight to Washington D.C. with some of our country's heroes.
For those of you who may think I'm taking a veteran's spot on the flight, the organizer assured me there are certain media spots on each flight and he has reserved one for me. I told him I wouldn't go if I was pushing out a veteran in the process.
Look for my reports following the flight. That is if I'll be able to come down off the cloud I'll be on to actually write stories.
Plans could be in the works for a sendoff event from the community or some sort of parade as they leave by bus from Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids. It would be great if we can let these veterans know how much they mean to us.
As I learn more about these people who dropped everything to help strengthen our country, I realize they more than deserve some praise.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org