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#188: Salute to a Veteran

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I've been thinking of an opportunity lost at my last doctor's appointment.

As I parked the car and got out, I immediately noticed an elderly gentleman sitting on a bench outside of the doctor's office. Beside the dignity in his stature I readily noticed the cap he wore that was embroidered with his service dates from Korea and Vietnam.

As I approached, a man came out of the doctor's building, looked at the man on the bench, walked to him, shook his hand then leaned down and gave the veteran a hug.

I walked up just then and the two of us saluted the veteran and thanked him for his service. Tears welled in his eyes and ours.

I regret I didn't ask his name and swore I'd talk with him after my appointment. To my regret, when I was finished, he was gone.

But my heart soared with respect and gratitude at his sacrifice. I wondered how many other people thanked him that day. I also wondered what his name was. I wanted to know his story of serving in the military, how he had been treated since his discharge and what he felt being sent from his home to foreign countries to risk his life for people he would never meet.

Then I vowed that the next time such a situation presents itself, instead of merely saluting and saying thank you, I'll ask his, or her, name and like the other man, shake their hand and give them a hug while saying thank you and may God bless you.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • PEPPERLEAH
    What a beautiful story. Thank you for posting this.
    4071 days ago
  • GOODHAPPENS1
    How true - God bless all our armed forces past and present - Keep them safe and give them the appreciation , dignity and respect they deserve and more than earned . emoticon
    4072 days ago
  • YATMAMA
    What a good testimony and such a good admonishment. Thank you for sharing this.
    4072 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5002230
    Seeing it in my head is almost as good as witnessing that event personally. I am certain many onlookers from windows and passing cars were inspired to imitate your gesture.

    Now that is a testimony that keeps on giving.
    4072 days ago
  • LINDAKAY228
    I am touched by your story. I love to see the service men and women of all ages honored. My brother retired from the military last year after 20 years. He has been through Desert Storm and was in Afghanistan after 9/11 and other places. Thanks for posting this to remind us of this wonderful people who don't get what they deserve sometimes. When my brother came back from Afghanistan there was still a lot going on there but it had quieted for a while when the emphasis first turned to Iraq instead. His wife tried to get the Sacramento papers to cover his units return and they wouldn't even do that because Afghanistan had been a hot topic that had faded and what those military personnel was going through was no longer important compared to Iraq. However things were not quiet by any means in Afghanistan when he was there, the news media just chose new things to cover. How many others are in areas where they are risking their lives today but aren't in the "hot news topics" and so aren't acknowledged?
    4072 days ago
  • SPARKLOVE
    emoticon Thanks for sharing this moving story. Vets deserve our respect and appreciation. Joy
    4072 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    Lou, stories like this make my heart soar. Not just for the service men/women being acknowledged but for the ones like you doing the acknowledging. It was a long time coming but being grateful and loving to these people is so rewarding for both sides. Especially in past years I understand not only how much they sacrifice but how rewarding it must be to be out defending our country. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.
    4072 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    I remember thanking my neighbor, who is about 70 yrs old, for serving our country. He said I was the FIRST one that EVER thanked him.

    NOW how sad is that!

    Good Job. We need to pray for and thank those that are willing to lay down their lives for us.

    God's Son, being the ultimate sacrifice for the world!


    4072 days ago
  • MSWEEZER
    Ah yes, this is why I enjoy working on the Sew Much Comfort project for our veterans. I hear often of those who get the adaptive clothing we make and how it improves their quality of life and for that reason alone, it is worth my time to work on this project. I think it was wonderful that you all acknowledged this man especially since it seems those veterans from viet nam and before seemed to get little in the way of gratitude. It does a heart good to know that they were appreciated.
    4072 days ago
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