Sunday, May 30, 2010

A long overdue thanks...

A couple times a year while running into a grocery store or maybe the bank I find myself passing a man with a bucket, or a can.

Usually he's an older gentleman, decked out in a decorated uniform.

Colorful stripes and medals, whose meanings I don't pretend to know.

Sometimes he's old and feeble and stands supported by an old cane, other times he's sitting in a wheelchair.

I toss a handful of change into his container.

"Thank you miss" or "God bless you for your contribution" the man says as I pass him by.

I make my way to my car and along the way I pat myself on the back for my generosity.

Once, a few years ago I sent my step dad Papa G a message it was for either Veteran's or Memorial day, I can't remember which now, anyway... I thanked him for his service to our country.

Not only was he in the military, but he also served as a US Marshall for almost 30 years.

That's a lifetime of devotion to one's country.

My country, our country.

My step dad wrote back that he can count on one hand the number of times someone has thanked him for his service to this country.

Really? How sad.

He told me how touched he was by my gesture.

I don't just toss in a handful of coins anymore.

That is not enough.


Now after the old Vet thanks me for my pitifully tiny contribution to his cause I take a moment and look into his eyes, I offer my hand and I say "IT IS YOU SIR THAT DESERVES TO BE THANKED!!!...THANK YOU SIR".

It never fails to bring a surprised smile to their face and often a tear to their eye.

What is Memorial Day? A quote found online says "A day to remember and honor those that serve, those that have served, those that have gone to rest in service, and any person serving another as an act of duty, unconditional love, devotion and obligation"

So in honor of Memorial Day I'm going to thank a few of my favorite Veterans (and the brave young men in my life that soon will leave to serve our military) for their past, present and future service to our country

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Papa G, Uncle John, Uncle Dan, Uncle Clarence, Donnie, Tony, Chad, Bretton, Matt, Phil, Jake...may God continue to keep you safe and may you always know that your past, present, future contributions and sacrifices to this country are very much appreciated.

If you would like to send some Memorial Day wishes or thoughts to a Veteran please leave a comment or two on this blog...I promise to pass them on.

It's the very least we can do....



  1. While I have always known this is the proper and right thing to do, my shyness overcomes me. In the quickness of the moment, they seem to pass by before the thought can rise from my heart to the heart of the serviceman/woman passing by the airport, the train station, the grocery store. I will take the opportunity to say thank you now. A quiet thank you that symbolizes all that I cannot know of their experience and the respect that that deserves. Words do not seem adequate. I will fly my flag with pride and find someone to thank this weekend....starting with my son, Bretton, and then proudly buy up the opportunity to verbally give thanks when it presents itself from now on.

  2. Here in England we are, on the whole, very good at remembering and honouring the sacrifices and actions of our servicemen and women. Thank goodness.

    Just a couple of weeks ago I stood with my husband in the rain at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London for the VE Day commemorations, and cried with a mix of pride and sadness for these amazing people who have given so much for us - and I include America wholeheartedly in that, despite how 'unfashionable' it may be over here to appreciate your nation as a friend always standing at our side.

    My husband's father, a Detroit boy through and through, was one of the many brave and good locals to sign up during Vietnam, and died from an Agent Orange brain tumour when my husband was just 14.

    So, for him, for the members of my family and all those of our joint countries who have, and will continue to serve, and also to you for reminding us of how important it is to declare these words - I say, THANK YOU.

  3. hi from LBS! thank you for reminding us how important a thank you is to the people who risk their lives to keep us safe.

  4. I, too, am thankful for all the military people past and present. A couple of my uncles were at the Battle of the Bulge, and lived to tell about it. I know that many, many did not come back home. Yes, please pass along my thanks!

  5. Dear PPB: (thats Pretty Betsy Brown for you that do not know) You are such a beautiful person. I always take a moment, just a bare moment to think of those families that have lost sons and all due to military action. I think of the pain to lose a son and that is about all of the thought I give it.. I will do better from now on...Thank you PPB....

  6. Dear MG (Mama's girl): You bring a tear to an old lawman's eye. I've been proud for over 22 years to know I was your friend, but today I'm proud for the honor of being called "Papa G"!
    My entire adult life (since 17) has been in service to others, and every day I considered it a privilege to have a chance to help somebody that day, even if that meant putting someone else in jail. FYI - I never planted anyone behind bars who did not truly deserve it. God bless you, your gang and the rest of the family up there above the 38th parralel. Thanks for your kind words, and God Bless America! -Garry (Papa G)


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