Spark of Hope # 70 – My last duty station was Hickam Air Force Base (from 1982-1984). I was assigned to work at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces under the direction of Colonel Jack Tomes. The Colonel was nearing retirement at 28 years of service—almost seven of which had been spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Without fail, each time I approached his desk he would ask me about my day. Then after the order of business was taken care of he would send me off with a smile, letting me know to come back as needed. He was a mentor whom I greatly admired and have never forgotten. I didn’t learn about his dislocated shoulders, cigarette burns and other POW traumas until after he retired, when he shared details in the base newspaper. He carried it all inside while looking outwardly stoic. The Headquarters building was just the reverse. While working inside, I wouldn’t have had a clue that it stood through the Pearl Harbor bombing. It was the building’s outside that was visibly scarred with battle wounds. The signs serve as a reminder of what remained intact despite the devastation that occurred on December 7, 1941. Some war stories will never be told, while others take years to be revealed and are then never forgotten. Betty McIntosh told her side of the story in 1941. After her editor’s rejection, it remained unpublished, until now. Today, her account of the attack on Pearl Harbor was published in The Washington Post. At 97 years of age, McIntosh is making Huge Outcomes Possible Everyday; she provides HOPE that a fresh perspective is always possible, even 71 years later.
Hope is like a spark; if the conditions are right, it can spread like wildfire. Hope feeds the soul, ignites passion, and inspires others. A world without it is like a world without possibility. Tucked inside each of us is a child-like spark that says: never forget to dream, play and imagine. HOPE is the extraordinary spark that says Huge Outcomes are Possible Everyday!