As I started to give the man at Chipotle’s behind the counter my order, the gentleman in front of me realized I had no voice…a cold had come and taken my vocal cords with all the coughing.
“Don’t you worry’ bout dis Mrs. Reback, I got dis. You jus whisper it to me an’ I’ll tell him…”
Surprised the man knew my name, he then insisted on paying for my dinner.
“After all you do for us, it’s least I can do fer you.”
I was completely confused. He knew my name. He was grateful for something I’d done…who was this guy?
So I followed my mystery man and sat at the table next to him where we proceeded to talk shop about that week’s bowl games. Tossing our theories around about why which team lost and who we were rooting for in the final championship, he finally looked off in the distance and said he appreciated all we did to honor and support veterans.
“You know I’m a vet too. Served for eight years in the army. I’ve had my struggles since I came back…”
My new friend and I talked for a solid hour. We talked about PTSD. We talked about his job challenges and losses. We talked about his new job and how he’s really enjoying serving. He was really excited when I shared with him about Operation 300 and said he’d like the chance to serve those families who lost loved ones in the military…said it would help him since he had lost more than a few friends himself.
And I walked away marveling. A veteran bought my dinner! A man who had been willing to die on my behalf paid my meal ticket. And then gave me the honor of his company!
Folks, sometimes it’s as simple as:
Flying a flag…
Going to a local military service on Memorial Day…
Or Honoring our nation’s hero’s during the holidays at Wreaths Across America…
Veterans are everywhere around us, and they notice the things you do to say thank you. And that night, I was blessed beyond belief with the company of one of our nation’s finest.