Yesterday I took the girls and went to Costco to get gas. With this big snow coming (wink, wink) I didn't want to be caught on empty just in case. As I pulled up I saw a man at the next pump who was wearing a big heavy jacket. On the back of it, in big bold letters it read, AIRFORCE. Then I glanced down at his car and noticed his plates that said "handicapped, veteran." Something quickened in my spirit and I knew I had to tell him thank you. I don't think I had ever really done this before.
I got out of the car and peered around my pump to where he was pumping gas into his car and said, "Sir thank you for serving our country". He looked at me with the biggest smile on his face. He was overjoyed. He said, "Ma'am, thank you. You don't know what that means to me. You see I served in Vietnam and there was a time I never heard those words". We had about a 2 minute conversation that day. I went on to tell him that I had just been watching CBN that morning and they had interviewed a war veteran who was homeless and trying to stay warm in this cold weather. He went on to talk a little bit about homeless veterans and about how many of them were forever changed by what they saw and the chemicals they were exposed to. He was one whose life was forever changed and who is dealing with sickness due to his time in Vietnam. My heart just sank. With tears in my eyes I told him thank you again for fighting for me and my girls. He waved as he left the station.
I have been thinking about this encounter for a day now. I owe so much to the men and women who have fought for my freedom. I don't say thank you enough. You know I think all the veterans want are more thank yous. That's it. They just want to know that people care about what they did and what they are doing. I'm convicted as I sit in my nice warm big house, with my girls and my husband by my side, that I often take all of this for granted. There are wives missing their husbands tonight, kids missing their daddy's and mother's grieving the loss of their son or daughter. These young kids decided to put their life in harms way because they love their country. Wow that boggles my mind. I can't say that I could do the same. To be honest, I am almost sickened by the fact that we care and know more about the affairs of Tiger Woods than we do about the young soldiers that have died. To me that's a travesty. I'm talking to myself here because I was one of those that just needed to know what happened to Tiger and his wife. After talking with this man, I am praying that my heart would be changed. That I would truly care and have compassion for our military men and women and for what they have done. So today this blog entry is dedicated to the the men and women who have bravely fought for our country. I can't thank you enough. Thank you to their families that wait for their loved ones to come home and for those that unfortunately, wait no longer. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! May God BLESS you!
Finally, thank you to the man that opened my eyes that frigid afternoon at the gas pump. I know you will never read this, but I thank you for taking the few minutes to talk with me and most importantly thank you for your service. It does not go unnoticed. I pledge to you from now on whenever I see a service man or woman, I will take the time to go up to them and simply say "Thank You."