The Greatest Treasure of All

The Greatest Treasure of All

Treasure comes in all shapes and sizes and you never know where you are going to find it. Recently I came across a story that moved me and wanted to share it with Detecting365’s readers.

This story comes from Mike aka BigCountry and has a lesson in compassion and morals. The treasure Mike eventually found was better than any treasure he could have ever hoped to find. The following is his first person account of the events that lead up to the best treasure he’s ever found.

“Hi, My name is Mike and 36 years or so ago when I was 8 or 9 years old, it was Thanksgiving Day, and the whole family, extended and all were at the house. Mom had cooked up a huge turkey and a couple of hams. My dad really loved his turkey he got once a year, and would just about stab anybody that tried to get any.

When I was growing up, I was always taught to respect others, and be especially kind to those that are less fortunate than me. We were by no means rich, just comfortable middle class with morals and compassion.

Back then there was an old abandoned greenhouse complex near where we lived and my friends and I hung out there doing what boys do. There was this patch of woods out back and one day while looking for treasure with one of dads old BFO metal detector’s, I came across this old military green tent. Being the curious type I asked if there was anyone in the tent, well out pops this bewildered old man, looking scared and frail, and I started talking to him.

For the next few weeks I would talk to him daily and I learned that he had been in World War II and Korea. Looking back on it, I guess he was ‘shell shocked’, and just could not get his life back together again after the wars. I learned he begged for food, or went near town and held a sign saying will work for food, but that did not always go so well for him.

Fast forward two months to thanksgiving day when everybody was talking in the family room. I cut that huge turkey my father loved so much in half and wrapped it and a bunch of mashed taters and fixings up and snuck out the back door, and went to the woods to see my old friend. I tapped on the tent and told Victor that I had something for him, and before he even came out he said I SMELL TURKEY!!!

That was the first time in my life that I had ever seen a grown man cry, and still be happy at the same time. Being so young I thought I had upset him at first. After a few hours I returned home to find my father as red in the face with anger as a traverse city cherry.

He immediately demanded to know where “his” turkey was, since it was obvious it was not in the house anywhere. I told him the truth, that I knew of a homeless man that never had anything to eat, and I did not want him to go hungry on a day when we are supposed to GIVE thanks for what we have. My father was intoxicated and I think that day I got the worst whipping I had ever gotten.

Well, the next day after the booze had long wore off, my father came to my room, and for the second time in my life I had witnessed a grown man cry, and my father was a tough as nails drill sergeant in the marine corps. Back then the gravity of seeing him cry did not really matter to me as much as it does as an adult. That was also the first time in my life my father told me he loved me, and that he was damned proud of me.

After we were finished talking my dad told me to come outside to his garage with him. My 3 older brothers and I were never really allowed in there, since you know, boys break things. Dad said that he wanted to show me something and he opened the door to the garage.

In I went, and what do you know, there in a corner, sat Victor on dads old military cot, wrapped up in blankets, and eating a turkey drumstick, and drinking some nice hot coffee.

After that I was always dads right hand man, and to me, thats the greatest treasure I had ever found.

Mike aka BigCountry

Final Thoughts From the Editor

The holidays are upon us so please keep those who are less fortunate in your thoughts this holiday season. Sometimes it takes courage and sacrifice to do the right thing, but the rewards are worth the effort.

As you learned in this story, some of life’s greatest treasures come from making sacrifices and having compassion for our fellow man. The bond that was formed between Mike and his Father is the greatest treasure a man could ever find.

“There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer”
– Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle

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Attribution not required. Modified by Rob Williams



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