Honesty is Alive

Sometime around 2 a.m. yesterday morning, while running an errand, my cellular telephone fell off the trunk lid of my car. I had left it there the previous afternoon while doing yard work, then forgot. Fortunately, it somehow landed in a place where other cars’ wheels wouldn’t crush it, yet it would be seen by a passing cyclist the following morning.

Shortly before going to bed, I got a call from that cyclist, Daniel Mattioda, saying he found my phone on the street and wanted to return it. [I hadn’t even noticed it was missing until he called. Such is my density of forgetfulness sometimes!] Dan obviously went through some effort to determine whose it was, then to look up my home number, because (unlike most of my electronics) I don’t have my name and number scratched deeply and irreparably into the plastic cover. After dropping his kids off at school, Dan and his wife came over to my house to give me the lost phone.

Dan is a member of our armed forces and was dressed in full fatigues. I didn’t get to make too much conversation to learn more about him, but I do know this: Dan Mattioda exhibited three things I’ve always associated with a good American soldier — honesty, honor and integrity. As such, this humble serviceman and family man deserves due public recognition not only for his service for our nation, but more still, for his honesty — the defining hallmark of any good man.


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