Thomas: Remembering a veteran and a friend

I am saddened that I will not hear any more stories about Indiana, the Ford Motor Company, trips to Mexico or smell the smoke of those Havana cigars.

Recently a friend of mine, and many others in Logan and the American Legion Post 77, passed away. His name was Dave Hessler, he was a Vietnam veteran, a scotch drinker and for those that knew him, a most generous soul.

I first met Dave at Post 77, as he sat upon a chair at the counter and quietly watched all that was going on around him while giving the appearance that he was oblivious to the happenings.

This is what first drew me to Dave. He seemed so reserved, almost reclusive, yet if you asked him he knew exactly was going on and who was doing it.

I sat down and before long joined in the conversation at hand, and as it progressed Dave spoke up and began to talk about one of his business trips to Mexico while working with the Ford Motor Company.

Midway through his conversation something arose that needed his attention and he left for a moment to address the situation. When he returned I asked him to finish the story he was telling earlier, and he smiled nodded and proceeded.

Dave shared some wonderful stories with me and others. Some of them were about his youth, work and activities with the American Legion on the east coast. He sometimes spoke of his experiences in the war, though I feel those were often too personal, and I felt honored that he shared some of those memories with me.

I always thought I could count on seeing Dave when I went to Post 77. I would walk in and he would be sitting at the counter talking with Susan or Joann, or he’d be at the table outside his office doing paper work.

Dave did so much for Post 77. So much so that it is going to be near impossible to replace him. Two or three will have to step up to do the work that Dave was doing every day.

I never had the chance to thank him for all that he did, though I do hope he knew how much everyone else and I appreciated him.

I can say that it will be different sitting there, knowing Dave won’t be walking around the corner pulling out a chair, lighting his cigar and saying “Hello, Thomas.”

I only knew Dave for a few short years, though I can say I’ll respect him for a lifetime. I hope you are resting well my friend and may those labels always be blue.

Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at

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