I want to share a very inspiring experience I had at work the other day.
I work for a merchandising company in a large chain discount store. As I was in my store, I witnessed a man in an Army BDU (camouflage) uniform standing at the end of an aisle working on printing some pictures when a lady (about 60 years old) walked up to him from the opposite direction from where I stood, grabbed his shoulder, shook his hand and told him thank you. I could not believe what I had just seen, and I told her so.
As I passed by them, I told her that that was the coolest thing I had witnessed in a long time. I patted the soldier on the shoulder and also told him thank you. My husband is a disabled vet and has served and sacrificed for his country with no regrets. He has recently been very ill due to his service-connected disability and we have prevailed, so, when I see a non-military person walk up to one of our soldiers (a complete stranger) and thank them for their service (and basically for their freedom), I see that as a personal victory.
Our soldiers, whether locally or far away, deserve our gratitude for allowing us to live the kind of lifestyles we choose, at their personal and professional sacrifices. Too often, those who don't have family or close friends in the military tend to take their freedoms for granted— most of who think they are owed this freedom—rather than that it is earned by our diligent military made up of regular people.
I will forever remember this lady's gracious attitude toward one of our deserving servicemen.
A lifelong military wife (name withheld), Imlay City
October 24, 2007