It was 2006, I was in Boston, taking the green line downtown and had just entered the underground station.
The lines at the cashier windows on both sides of the turnstiles were long.
A tall soldier, dressed in camouflage carrying a large duffle bag over his shoulder was staring at the lines too, obviously confused.
I had already pre-purchased tokens (this was before they were phased out)
and told him to follow me.
I thumbed a gold token into the turnstiles for each of us.
We went through and I found the stairs to the tracks.
A few minutes of waiting I found him again.
He still looked nervous and lost.
I asked him where he was headed, he told me he was
heading to a base for deployment to Afghanistan.
I told him which stop he wanted to switch to the rail trains.
He thanked me and turned to face the subway arriving in the station.
“Here” I said, and pressed another token into his hand.
“What’s this for?” he asked.
“You’ll need it for the ride home.” I said, and walked to the opening doors.