It is quite appropriate that Veteran’s Day falls so close to Thanksgiving. The wars (and conflicts) they have fought to defend, not only our country, but also other countries as well have brought us to where we are today and we should be extremely grateful for the sacrifices they have made to serve and defend freedom and democracy around the world.
On my last day at Fred Meyer, I had the gift of helping a World War II veteran at the deli. As I handed him his food across the counter, I realized that I may not get many chances to speak with someone who fought in that awful war, so not knowing what quite what to say, I blurted out,
“Thank you very much, sir, for your service. I'm really grateful.”
He smiled and replied, “Thank you for your service, you're good at what you do. Would you be able to ring me up?”
To which I answered, “Unfortunately not. They haven't trained me on the register yet.”
“Well they better get on that soon, they're wasting good talent.”
“Well, sir, they've run out of time. Today's my last day.”
"And why would you quit? You're fantastic at this!" He winked, “Are you moving on to brighter opportunities?”
“The Navy called and I answered.”
“Navy? Why Navy? You know you wanted the Army,” he grinned, “They need boys like you.”
“Thank you, sir,” I laughed.
“Can I shake your hand son?”
I got a massive lump in my throat. What do I have to give that would cause someone like this to ask that? I got kind of emotional as I replied, “Sir, I would be honored to shake yours.”
With a smile and wink he said, “It's been a pleasure, son. You be good now.” And then he was gone.
What I wouldn't give to be able to sit down with men like that and hear the wealth of stories that they have to tell.
Please be sure to thank a veteran today. You are free because of them... because freedom isn’t free and they had to pay the price.