NORMAN, OKLAHOMA — There are three cups sitting on Danny Glenn’s coffee table this morning.
Each has a special meaning.
Each contains a measure of his own life.
“You think about that,” he says. “But it’s like my age. It’s just a number.”
The first cup was pounded from the outer skin of a Navy A-4 jet, the same one Commander Glenn was flying on Dec. 21, 1965, the same one shot down over the border of Laos and North Vietnam.
He describes that moment as, “just kaboom, kaboom, kaboom.”
The second cup was the same vessel Glenn was issued as a prisoner of war.
“Everything you’ve known or lived with all your life is just gone. It’s like being on a different planet.”
He used it for six-year to nourish himself through torture, to signal fellow POW’s and to measure his own life.
He keeps it still as a reminder.
Glenn reflects, “The best day in prison is worse than the worst day I ever had before or since.”
The third is the one that overflows.
It’s a gift from his son, and the one he drinks from now.
Shark Daddy is his online chess name.
It represents life after his 1973 release, the gladness, the taste of freedom that’s still sweet and the life that puts those dark days further behind with every turn of the calendar page.
“Six years out of an 80-year-old person is not so much,” he smiles.
Commander Dan Glenn still dreams of piloting his A-4 and of the thought of facing recapture.
But his waking present is more about controlling a six-month-old puppy on a walk.
A Navy career, and another career as an architect, watching three kids grow up, and watching six grandkids turn into seven.
He’s learned to appreciate the portions life can offer, even the bitter-tasting ones.
Dan insists, “That experience is what made me who I was and who I am.”
You never know where they might lead.
Glenn and 11 other Oklahoma veterans will be inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame at a banquet in Norman Saturday, Oct. 26.
For more information on the other inductees or the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, go to http://www.okmhf.org/
‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.