Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Wish and a Prayer on Veterans Day

Sunday, November 9th: The elderly man stood by the front door of the grocery store. When I saw him, I immediately was reminded of my father. He was wearing a VFW hat and he had a bunch of little silk flowers with tags on them to hand out to those who put money in his cup. As I was approaching the door, I watched the few folks ahead of me, stopping to drop some change in the cup. I overheard one woman speaking to him say, "My dad was in the Korean War", he nodded and thanked her for her contribution. My friend and I rummaged through our pockets looking for a one dollar bill. Neither one of us could find one so I walked on by him, with the intent of giving him something on the way out. And then something happened. I stopped dead in my tracks. I reached into my purse, turned and put what money I had with me, into that man's cup. It didn't matter to me how much it was. I felt the need to give what I had; just as he had given what he had, and much, much more, all those years ago, when he served our country. He looked at me, and said, "Thank you for your generous gift". Do you know what I said? I didn't say a word. I couldn't even look him in the eye. I turned and walked away from him and into the store. How could what little I had given him, even come close to repaying him for what he had done for me and for our country?
I am a member of a group called Soldiers Angels. (There is a link on my right side bar to their website.) This is the time of year when I and my co-workers get involved with their Christmas Card drive. Please take a moment to visit their site, and consider volunteering some of your time. Even if you can't give alot, even if it's just words of encouragement, hope, and caring; you will have made a dent in the huge debt that we owe our servicemen and women.
I never told my father how proud I was of him. I never thanked him for his service to our country. We used to talk often, about his days as a Navy enlisted man. I don't think he would have known how to respond to being thanked. He never looked at what he did as anything special. To him, he was just 'doing his duty'. He explained it to me once like this; "There is a price to pay for freedom. Each one of us is responsible to do our part to make sure that all of us can continue to enjoy living in a free society." Thanks Dad. And thanks to all who serve and have served. May God Bless You.


  1. I don't think he would have known how to respond to being thanked.

    My father was the same way (US Army Air Force/USAF, WWII, Korea, and beyond), and I think that sort of attitude is common amongst The Greatest Generation. Serving wasn't a big deal to them... it was expected, it was something everyone did, and therefore it wasn't all that unusual. Things have changed in America in this day and age, and not for the better... in this space, at least.

    Well said, Alison.

  2. Thanks for remembering Alison, and thanks for what you do with Soldiers' Angels!

  3. I am always humbled by these men and women who have served their country.

  4. Hey Fox,
    Awesome post. And its true we can barely make a dent in repayment to them for giving us the freedom to be us.