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“…Thanks For Serving”


army_environmental_book_coverEvery now and then, something happens during the day that just makes you have to stop, regroup and take pause of all that’s around you.

On Saturday, Bob and I got ourselves ready to do some running around.

Bob took out the puppy, I grabbed my coat and then a ball hat, went to warm up the car.

First we headed for lunch at our favorite Chinese place and then afterwards we hit the shops.

One of our stops was at Office Max. Looked at a 4 in one printer, looked at some templates for business cards and pickup a reporters note book.

The line was long to the checkout counter but I really wasn’t in a rush.

Finally it was my turn and I proceeded to the young man, had to be in his mid-twenties, who had stated “next.”

First I asked a couple of questions about the business cards and then paid for the note book, that’s when it happened.

Matthew, I’m glad they wear name tags, rang my purchase, handed me my change and then with a sincere tone, “thank you for shopping and thank you for serving. Next.”

Forgetting that the ball hat I was wearing was my Viet Nam Veterans hat, I answered with a “thank you.”

I moved to the entrance and then remembered the hat. Looked back at the young man who was now busy with the next person and proceeded out the door with a real sense of pride.

It doesn’t happen often but I remember back in 1997 when a lady, much older than I, stopped me and asked if she could “hug” me. I answered with “yes” and during the hug she whispered softly, “welcome home.”

Sometimes other ex-military “brothers” will stop and say things like “welcome home” or “it was a long time ago” but this was different, for Matthew was so young and I knew he had no remembrance of those many troubled years.

Matthew, “thank you” for taking time. “Thank you” for gently touching a strangers heart on a cold winter’s day.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Brielle Chittim permalink
    01/28/2009 9:51 pm

    That is so touching, thank you – It warms my heart on this winter day. B.

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