National Truck Driver Appreciation Week on September, 2024: Whats a good thing to say when you walk by a Soldier on the street in his uniform?
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"Thank you for serving out country."
A a couple of weeks ago while visiting in s.w. Missouri. I'm retired Navy. I was wearing my father-in-law's ball cap from his last ship (he died 3 years ago) with a RETIRED NAVY pin on the front. A young man walked up to me, held out his hand and said, "Sir, thank you for serving our country." I'm the one that says that. I thanked him, & shook his hand. He said he was in the National Guard, a truck driver. I thanked him for HIS service. He was also a police officer from a nearby town...Monet. I thanked him also for serving his community.
I work on a Naval base in Norfolk. There are sailors at the gate, along with civilian base police. When I go through a line at the gate and there's a sailor, I always thank them for their service to our country. Once there was a YOUNG female sailor checking IDs. I handed her one of the THANK YOU cards I carry, and thanked her for serving in the Navy. Her eyes turned teary. She said "Thank you so much, and you're welcome," and wiped her eyes. Got MY eyes a bit teary then.
I was in one of the fast food places on base and saw 2 U.S. Marines sitting with a young lady (a wife of one of the Marines). I walked up, gave each U.S. Marine one of my THANK YOU cards and thanked them for their service to our country. I added that the U.S. Marines were my heroes. The young lady jumped up and hugged me and said, "No one has ever said that to my husband." We talked a bit and went on my way. There are also THANK YOU cards for family members, but those are bit more difficult to spot.
There was a Chinese buffet near our home that often had sailors/Marines eating there (he got a bigger place a few miles away). $6.99 all you can eat, plus the cost of your drink. My wife and I have often paid for the meals of an obvious service member (and his family). When they would get to the cash register and were told it was taken care of, they'd look around trying to figure out who paid. The owner once asked me why we do that, and I explained it's just our way of showing our appreciation for their service. Mr. Wei smiled, shook his head and said "That would never happen China". He even tried to cover my bill but I wouldn't allow him to.
(USN retired 1965-85, in-country Viet Nam vet 1966 & 1967))