< Memorial Day Family Memory Ideas and Inspiration
Working Mom Special Report
May 2012


Gratitude for the sacrifices which allow us to live in freedom is an important motivational tactic. For those of you who are new to our website (and even newer to knowing about my family) I come from a large close-knit, hard working family. We like to laugh (and we laugh A LOT) and we tell old stories and share memories whenever we spend time together.

Last year, my Dad went home to be with the Lord. Our family is still healing and learning to function without him, but we remember with gratitude Dad's gift of telling stories and bringing joy, laughter and levity to almost every situation. This includes his time spent serving the United States of America in the Air Force. Of course there were (and still are) many genuine heroes who serve our Nation with valor, integrity and courage. We salute them and are grateful for their sacrifices. That being said, I hope you're encouraged by this little story my father once told me - never claiming to be a hero. But it sure is a good memory. Bejamin Hawkins USAF

Sonny Boy - The Boxer

Benjamin Hawkins (also known as Sonny Boy) was one of those fresh-out-of-the-country, happy-go-lucky, jovial kinds of small-town guys. He was just seventeen years of age when he joined the United States Air Force. The year was 1955.

He had a handsome face, perfectly straight, pearly-white teeth and a muscular build. Sonny Boy was basically a peace-loving kind of guy, not given to quarrelsomeness - so this stint as a soldier was going to be a real stretch for him, given his natural inclination towards comedy, peace and love.

He made friends quickly and the other Airmen liked to be in his company with his easy laugh and funny jokes.  Not too long after basic training did one of his buddies show him a poster saying that the Air Force was looking for recruits to join their boxing team.

"Hawkins, you're a tough guy...you could do that easy! I can just picture that pretty face of yours on all those Air Force posters!" His friends ribbed good-naturedly. 

"You ought to try out for the boxing team!" The guys in his unit began urging him. 

"Anyhow, that's a whole heap better than getting shipped off somewhere to get shot at."

Now a statement like that was a strong incentive for a guy like Sonny, who wasn't exactly given to acts of heroics and hadn't enlisted looking for adventure and thrills. The more the thought about it, it was starting to sound like truer words had never been spoken...


Sonny Boy thought about it all that night. He thought about the various fisticuffs he'd gotten into (and emerged victorious from) back in his hometown in Alabama, and the fact that he'd grown up with older brothers who hadn't hesitated to give him first-hand experience in the value of self-defense. He began to realize he had already proven to have some natural talent as a fighter.

"Yeah...the boxing team..." He thought, warming up to the idea. "I could get paid to go around the world and box, instead of working my fingers to the bone and maybe winding up killed somewhere."

Thoughts of the the Brown Bomber, (Joe Louis) further compelled him to start thinking his destiny might be to make it big in the ring.  He made up his mind to go to the tryouts.

The Ring

The day of the boxing tryouts arrived, and Sonny confidently approached the ring - several of his friends along for moral support.

He stripped down, rolling his neck and shoulders, jabbing at the air to loosen up as his friends helped him lace up his gloves.

The boxing recruiter who was in the ring introduced himself and asked a few questions.

"Have you ever boxed before?"

"No sir!"

"Where you from, Airman?"

"Alabama, sir."

"So this is your first time in the ring?"

"Yes sir, it is."

The man started laughing and then smiled.

"I'll tell you what...since it's your first time boxing, I'm only going to use one hand...my left hand. I'm gonna keep my right hand behind my back the whole time you're in the ring with me."

Sonny thought to himself "I can't wait to knock that smirk right off of his face."

Round 1

Airman Hawkins entered the ring and put up his dukes. Side-to-side he bobbed and weaved, light on his feet, moving in a semi-circle around the center of the ring, contemplating where he'd land his first jab. He looked for all the world, just like a professional.

Then suddenly...

"Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap!"

He heard - then felt (though he never actually saw) five impossibly quick jabs and hooks. They fell upon him in such rapid, staccato succession that it induced a sense of unreality. In fact, the ring was beginning to seem off-kilter. Truth be told, Sonny Boy, aka Airman Hawkins felt a little faint.

And just like that, he threw up both hands and said "That's it."

"Boxin' ain't for me."

"You sure?" Asked the recruiter.

Sonny's response was to begin unlacing the gloves.

And that was the sum total of my Dad's service to the United States Air Force in the boxing ring. He took five hits, nearly got knocked out and didn't swing a single punch. :-)


Sabrina O'Malone



If you liked this report, then you won't want to miss our coupons, reviews and occasional free product giveaways! Sign up to receive our newsletter. http://workingmom.com/mail.html WorkingMom.com, Saving You Time, Energy and Money.



Copyright © 2012 Workingmom.com | Terms of Service