To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mom You're Crazy

As is our custom, I took my two boys to buy doughnuts after church.  After picking out our favorites we started heading for the 10 items or less check out.  We got there at the same time as a gentleman, who waved us ahead with a pleasant smile.  There were two people in front of me, but I wasn't in a hurry.

I turned to the pleasant man, motioned to his hat and said, "You are a Veteran?" He smiled sheepishly, adjusting his hat, "Yes Ma'am.  Vietnam was my war."  I smiled wider, "Thank you very much for serving our country."  The woman standing in front of me, who was of his generation turned, giving her thanks for his service.

Now that the gentleman was throughly embarrassed he looked at my boys with a sly smile, "I flew helicopters.  Hueys."  Both of my boys, ages 5 and 7 looked at him as if he were a bonafide Super Hero.  They both yelled out, "That's sooooo cool!"

We continued to talk in line.  He shared that the oxygen tank had nothing to do with his service in Vietnam.  He was diagnosed with cancer, and had a mild heart attack back in August.  He explained with a smile, "I kept asking the doctors what a mild heart attack was, they never gave me an answer.  So I decided you survive the mild heart attack, so the big one can get you later."

It was my turn to pay, I looked down at the conveyer belt, the gentleman was purchasing a dozen roses and a few oranges, so I told the cashier I was buying his items too.  She looked at me like I sprouted a second head.  The gentleman told me no, I didn't have to do that.  It was at this moment I heard my 7 year old say, "Mom, you're crazy."  I smiled down at him, "Yes I am.  Thank you."  I gave the cashier my mom look that says, do want I tell you to, NOW as I told her again, "I'm paying for his items. Bag them up."  I paid for the groceries.  

The gentleman (who's name I never got) thanked me, asking me for my name, which I gave him before wishing him a good week and leaving with my doughnuts.

The Vietnam War was over before I was born.  I can only imagine how this man was treated when he came home.  He had a wonderful personality, able to make jokes of his rough times.  Buying his few groceries doesn't really seem like big enough thanks.  I think he knows my thanks came from the heart though.

I challenge everyone to be crazy with me.  Do something nice for a Veteran, no matter how small to show their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.


Spockgirl said...

I'd say you are the crazy, COOL mom.

Makes me wonder who the roses were for.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Now that was cool. I rode in a few Hueys, not as nice as the Blackhawks.
I still never know what to say when somebody says: "thank you for your service."

Kristina Divine said...

Spockgirl~ I tool wonder who the roses were for, but thought it would be too nosy to ask.

CI~ Sometimes it's difficult to accept a compliment gracefully. I find when I don't know what to say, YOU'RE WELCOME always works. Of course as a woman, seeing a man give me an embarrassed shy smile says a lot too. If that doesn't feel right, I enjoy hearing peoples fun stories, like this gentleman who started telling my boys stories of flying soldiers around with his Huey.

greenpoet said...

Thanks and thanks, Kristina. I am of that gentlemen's generation.

ParaPacem said...

God BLESS you. You set an example for your kids, which I hope they will remember. I do know how people were treated when they came home from Nam. Either greeted only by a few friends or family members, or met by the same mindless communist, brain-dead thugs whom you see these days in Wisconsin, or marching with 'Code Stink' or other such groups. The bodies may be younger but the spirit that dwells in them is the same.
I, too, try to thank every veteran I see; I want them to know that no matter what kind of jerks may be up the chain of command, the troops have my utter respect and loyalty.

Kristina Divine said...

greenpoet~ You are very welcome. I always say there is no expiration date on gratitude. This experience was a perfect example that I hope others will follow. The smallest thank you can mean so much to a person who doesn't expect it.

Kristina Divine said...

Parapacem~ My boys have been with me through the very beginning of my journey starting Words For Warriors. They are Cub Scouts proud of God and Country, to the point my oldest said if he ever caught someone disrespecting HIS flag, he'd punch them in the nose. I have two of the most American boys you'd ever meet.

ParaPacem said...

You are blessed. And - with my typically delayed reaction 'deep insights of shallow profundity" - I think I know why the man asked your name.
I bet he keeps a prayer list.