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.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thanking A Vietnam Veteran

Today while standing in a decent sized line at the Pharmacy there were two gentlemen sitting in chairs waiting for their names to be called. One man was lifting his sleeves and pant legs showing off his ink. He pointed to his arm saying, "This is from when I was in the service." Then proceeded to list off a division, and a unit I didn't quite catch. The other man asked, "Vietnam?" The man said yes, quickly moving on to the next tattoo.

Soon my name was called, I had my items, and as I walked past I stopped in front of the Vietnam Veteran and said, "Thank you for your service." He said, "What?" I smiled, "I over heard your conversation, Thank you for serving our country." The man's face turned hard, his gaze steely. I continued to smile, "I truly appreaciate all you've done for me and my family by serving in the military." The mans face softened a little, he gave me a slight head nod and a slit of a smile, "You're very welcome."

I thank people for their service all the time, this man is the first Veteran to look at me sternly, questioningly, defensively.  It makes me wonder if I'm the first person to sincerely thank him for his service and sacrifices.

The Veterans Awareness Coalition has a wonderful article titled What is a Vietnam Veteran. I encourage you all to read it.

Former Governor Schwarzenegger signed a State Assembly Bill 717 two years ago making March 30th Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, but shouldn't everyday be thank a Vietnam Veteran Day?
Photo Courtesy Kristina Divine

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