The National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics starts with this:
“Under all is the land……..”
Today, on the 235th birthday of the U.S. Marines, and in anticipation of tomorrow, Veteran’s Day, I suggest that every Realtor, every American, and every freedom loving citizen of the world stop to consider the cost of that freedom. I dedicate once again this article that is reprinted from a 2007 post. I was lucky enough then to work with a young Marine and his wife to help them buy a home here in Oceanside. Meeting them moved me. Hopefully reading about them will move you as well. I’m dedicating this post and calling it….
Under All are the Graves….
Saturday, December 8, 2007
It’s Hardly An EOD
I took a young couple out looking for homes today. First time we had met, and our initial introduction had been through my web site and a couple of emails.In the course of our meeting I engaged in my usual convivial chatter, finding out in small snippets where they were from, what they were dreaming, and of course, what they “did for a living.” Now an old philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, once wrote “if you label me, you negate me”, and being not quite that old, but old enough to remember and revere the 60’s, I always ask “what do you do” hoping it creates something that really takes me to the core of that person, not just to the superficial meaning of his or her life as labeled by a job.
So today I asked “what do you both do?” She said, “I’m ex-military, and he’s still on active duty.”
“What branch?”, I asked.
“I was in the Air Force”, she said, “and he’s in the Marines.”
We’re here in Oceanside, California, home of Camp Pendleton, and some of the finest young men and women in the whole world. I myself served as a Marine many years ago, but continue to find that meeting and interacting with young service people always makes me glad I live in the San Diego area where so many opportunities arise to do so.
“What do you do in the Marines?”, I asked.
“EOD’s,”, he said.
I’m looking at him, and he’s a young guy who clearly loves his gal, his country, and is not a big talker like me. So I ask him, “EOD’s….what are they?”
“Explosive Ordinance Devices,” he says. “You know, when they set the roadside bombs, me and my unit find them and neutralize them. We make it safe for the rest of the guys.”
“Been to Iraq yet?”, I asked. “Three tours,” he says, and again he’s taking his girl’s hand and
concentrating on her.
He’s not even looking straight at me, and I think I sense he’s reluctant to make it sound like anything he does is important. After all, I have my Realtor’s badge on, my head filled with facts about the market and all the homes I’m going to show them. It’s clear he’s looking at me as though I am important.
Well, for today, and to once again remind all of us, Real Estate, is NOT AN EOD!! It’s a job, and it’s a job some of us do well, love, and that can make a difference, but one that nonetheless “labels” us. I want to say that the next time someone meets me and engages in small talk, including asking “what do you do”, I’ll say something really honest, really revealing, and perhaps really dangerous. I’ll say, “I met a Marine who did EOD removal…..do you know what that is?”…..and then talk about this young man and young woman until the subject changes to why what THEY do make what WE do possible.