Monday, March 28, 2016

Tony Grant; just some random guy I met

Anthony "Tony" Grant
1948 - 2015

I knew this guy.  I met him years ago.  He died in December.

Tony was 101st Airborne and served two tours of duty in Vietnam.

Tony was reclusive.  He almost never left his home in St. Antoine, New Brunswick which is 15 kilometres from where I live.  He had a sound studio in his house and worked there (he was a musician).  I met him when, on a few occasions, he drove his wife and picked her up after work.  She works as a librarian in the Moncton Public Library which occupies the first two floors of the building I work in.  I met him when he was parked waiting for her to get off work, and the only time I ever talked to him was when he was in his car, waiting on his wife.  Our conversations always took place through a car window.

Tony told me that he came to Canada after he was visited by US government officials with warnings that he was not to tell certain things he witnessed in Vietnam.  He said he fled the US because he feared "they" were going to kill him.  Yeh, the mysterious unnamed "they."  I know very well what that means.  Tony was delusional, right?

But I also know that it was no delusion of my own when I received photos of my farm, and my Polled Hereford breeding cattle with the cryptic note, "It would be a shame if they turned up dead, or your barn was burned, because of your political opinions."    Or when those same veiled threats were made against my wife and daughter (who was only 12).

Yes, Tony might've been totally delusional about the whole thing; he might have been telling the truth; I'll never know ... but I know HE believed it, whether true or not.  And if he was suffering from mental problems, the war did that to him.

I think that perverted immoral war made mental cripples of a lot of good men.  Like Tony Grant.

I'm surprised they all don't do what I fear I would in the same circumstances.

Rest in Piece, Tony ... I am very, very sorry that I didn't try to be a better friend.