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
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.