LAUREL, Md. — 83-year-old Ron Able is able to do a lot of things.
One thing he is not able to do is sit still.
"There are tons of things to do. Just go and do them," he said.
His pre and post-retirement jobs prove that he is eager to learn and do new things. Among the jobs he had before he retired include working for the CIA, as a police officer in Kentucky, as well as in the hotel, racetrack and construction industries.
"I have done a lot of things," he said. "You can’t stand still, you can’t stand still."
He's done odd jobs during retirement too, such as working at the Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center. And when it closed last year due to COVID-19, Able quickly shifted gears.
"So they said we’re going to open up a testing center and I said 'ok, need a volunteer?'"
He said he went through training with Maryland Responds, an online registration system for medical and public health volunteers. When the senior center closed the testing center, he shifted again.
"Fortunately they decided that the next step was go to the inoculation center and so they opened that back up. So there I was again."
It was during that time volunteering at the vaccine clinic that Able said he came up with the idea to create something to give to the healthcare workers who came in each day to inoculate people. A literal token of appreciation.
Able created a coin with a picture of a dragon and dragon slayer on it. "The dragon is the virus and the people who are doing this work are the dragon slayers," he said.
He gave out a few of the coins back in April at the senior center with the help of Laurel's mayor Craig Moe.
"It’s deserved. They are literally saving humanity," he said.
Able's daughter, Angie Able, said she wasn't surprised her dad came up with the coin. It's one of the many reasons why she nominated him for the Chick-fil-A Everyday Heroes award.
"I wanted people to know how much I love and appreciate my dad. He has done so many things for all of us in his family and in his community. I think a lot of times he just doesn’t get, or understand maybe, that we really appreciate all of his efforts
In true Ron Able fashion, he can't sit still and wants to give the coins out to more people.
"[Just] saying thank you for what you’re doing because it’s important. It is probably the most important thing going on in the world right now."
If you know a group or individual who deserves some recognition for their work administering the vaccine, email Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org