March 05, 2005
i've done it
If you haven't done this, you should, the very next chance you get. Show some goddam gratitude for young people who are risking their lives for you.
And like the writer of that post, I've never done it without having the troops thank me. I shell out a few bucks for a meal and THEY want to thank ME? I've always told them that they had it backward. I thank THEM. I'm not the one about to be shot at. They are.
I don't care if you're in a McDonald's or a fancy steak house. Buy a meal for the people in uniform who are headed into harm's way. They appreciate it, and you'll feel good about yourself afterward, too.
Just try it.
I live not too far from Great Lakes Naval Training Center so we see groups of young Sailors just out of boot, or on weekend liberty, quite often. One weekend recently the family and I were at a Krispy Kreme finishing off a batch of donuts when a handful of Sailors came in. Going with a spur-of-the-moment impulse I went up to the register while they were making their selections, got the cashiers attention, and told him that I wanted to pay for whatever the Navy guys were getting. Another customer at the counter noticed my USMC cap and commented that my actions were rather special, given the "rivalry" between the Marines and Navy. I explained that that doesn't matter in times like these; we all need to support our troops.
I would have prefered the whole transaction to have been anonymous but they found out I'd taken care of their bill and of course came over to say thanks. They thanked ME for spending a few lousy dollars on donuts, when THEY'RE serving our country and possibly laying their lives on the line!
The beautiful thing is, this kind of action encourages others. While the first group of Sailors were getting themselves ready to leave, another lone Sailor came in. I wanted him to be included as well, so I asked the counter person if his selection had been included with the other's bill. She told me, "No, but don't worry; I'm taking care of this one!".
There is nothing quite like the warm glow you get when you do something like this.
I was on R&R in June of '69 with my wife in Hawaii and not in uniform, after dinner at one of the night spots we went to pay for our dinner, only to find out someone else had paid for it, I must have had some sort of Vietnam look about me because the checkout lady said some doctor wanted to treat us for my service, the first and only time I was treated this way. I never knew who did this and never had a chance to thank the doctor, but I have never forgotten the honor, it lifted me above the doldrums of war, and I do feel an obligation to do the same to other unsuspecting service members. It's the right thing to do. Thank you doctor.
What a wonderful gesture. You're a fine American for the reminder.
My step-son, Chris, leaves tomorrow from Fort Carson, CO to Iraq. If any of you say prayers, we would greatly appreciate you prayers for Chris' health and wellbeing. Thanks from a worried (step)mom..
Amen! Service men & women don't pay for their meals when we're around! We feel it's the least we can do...