If you find yourself thinking, “I don’t remember that war, but . . .” you can still pay tribute to a veteran. Here’s a story from my own personal experience.
I make it a habit of going out of my way for Vietnam vets because I know from hearing stories they were not always treated with respect or shown any appreciation for what they did during the war.
My family was touched by Vietnam with my uncle’s best friend who sacrificed it all to protect this country. I grew up in a family that taught us to stand when the flag came down the parade route, and to cheer a little louder for the Vietnam vet; maybe to make up for the others over the years that were too soap boxy to realize how wrong they were in their judgments of the men and women who fought for this country for something they never understood because they were never there.
A few months ago my friends and I were waiting for a table at our favorite place to eat when a man and his wife walked in. The man was wearing a nice t-shirt that said “VIETNAM VET, USMC.” I made eye contact with him and smiled; he smiled back. My friend walked over to the hostess and said something to her; I walked up to the man and said “On behalf of myself and my friends, please take the next table; we’ll wait. It’s the least we can do after all you’ve done for us.” I kissed his cheek, each of my female friends followed, the guys shook his hand. As the man walked by me, he took my hand and squeezed it. He wasn’t able to say anything else.
We found out that the table next to his picked up the tab for his table, and he was given a standing ovation when he left. What a night it turned out to be and all because a group of 40 year olds, who don’t remember the war, said “thank you.”
Please find a way to honor our veterans on Veterans Day and on every day.
If you find yourself thinking, “I don’t remember anything about that war, but I’d like to help,” consider a donation to the Vietnam Veterans Association.