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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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A First for Everything

By Jim Hoskins, Camp Pendleton - Installation Voting Officer | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | April 22, 2016

The following missive is cryptic. The characters are real but the story is false, stay on the path and don’t get lost. Check the dates and check the states, look for clues you can’t mistake. Get a point for each link you find as the passengers goals entwine. Score just one and you will win, so let’s get this started and let the fun begin!    

It was Monday, December 15, 1788. 

He rose early, slipped on his deer skin coat, filled his canteen and gently closed the door to his home. As the sun began to peek over the horizon he headed out on the path. The path was narrow, long and arduous in places but would lead the traveler safely to his destination if he didn’t drift into the woods that closely bordered the dusty lane. He would be joined along the way by others with who he would form a fellowship.

It was Tuesday, November 8, 1864, when a wagon pulled by a team of horses pulled up. The wagon was driven by a scruffy looking fellow wearing a weathered cowboy hat, old boots and covered in dust. He informed the traveler that he was rejoicing Nevada’s new statehood and offered the traveler a ride on the wagon since their destination was the same. 

It was Tuesday, November 5, 1872, when the wagon stopped to check on a young black man standing on the side of the road as he looked tired and haggard.  His clothing was torn and his feet were bare. 

“Climb aboard!” said the traveler.  “We have plenty of provisions and we’re glad to share with a fellow countryman.  Our destination is the same so ride with us to the end.” 

On Tuesday, November 2, 1920, the traveler saw a lady walking down the middle of the path.  She wore a long colorful dress that was neatly hemmed at the ankle and her head was covered with a matching bonnet to keep out the hot sun above.  As the cowboy brought the wagon to a halt, the lady climbed aboard as there was plenty of room in this wagon.  The wagon traveled on. 

Around noon on Tuesday, November 8, 1960, at the bend in the road ahead, a strange site appeared.  Two gentlemen walked together.  One was dressed only in shorts, wore sandals on his feet, and carried a large walking stick.  The other man was dressed in a huge fur coat, heavy boots and gloves and wore a hood over his head for warmth.  Each man spoke a unique language but seemed to understand each other perfectly as if they were brothers. 

“Quickly, get aboard – you can travel with us.  We’re almost there!” 

The horses were now at a full gallop as the end was in sight.  As they came around the last turn of the path a man stood in the middle of the road and stopped the wagon.  He was a big man.  He had a short beard, wore his hair long to his shoulders, and was dressed in an olive green jacket with many patches. 

One patch was a screaming eagle, one patch was a red diamond with the number 1 in the middle, there was a black patch with a white head bowed, and the numbers 9/11 were embroidered on the left breast of the coat.  On his head he wore a green beret tilted slightly to one side.  With a deep voice he commanded the wagon to stop. 

“Oh No!” exclaimed the traveler.  “We have come such a long way, through so many trials and challenges we can’t be stopped now. You can’t stop us from entering!” 

“Sir, you must be mistaken.  I’m not here to stop you from entering. I’m here to ensure you can, unencumbered, place your vote!”

Welcome Uncle Sam and the Freedom Wagon! 

Where will you be on Tuesday, November 8, 2016?