Thanks for Your Service to Our Country…a Great and Positive Attitude Shift Toward Our Military Men, Women and Veterans
AF Vet Cap
Thanks For Caring About Your Warfighters
I'd like to offer my personal thanks to the anonymous diner at the Orlando International Airport Cracker Barrel! Yesterday, Saturday July 2, 2011, around noon, I was having a late breakfast at the Cracker Barrel restaurant (I was wearing my Air Force Veteran cap). The server came over to say that an anonymous diner asked him for my check and to please relay his personal thanks for my service (all those many years ago). I have since "passed it forward", anonymously buying dinner for a couple of older WWII vets and their wives and recently, my wife and I were eating dinner at Beef O'Brady's and when I asked for the check...someone else had picked it up. Thanks again to whomever was so gracious. While this was my first “free lunch”, so to speak, I have been “thanked for my service” a number of times by individuals in various place, even the pilot on a flight back from Indiana last year, as I exited his plane. My reason for wearing the cap is not to receive appreciative comments from folks, but it is a great way to strike up an occasional conversation with other “vintage soldiers and sailors” as I travel around. I must say that the general public has a far better feeling of respect for the hardships that our servicemen and women go thru to maintain our way of life than they did when I got out of the Air Force during the Viet Nam era. I truly appreciate what the current generation of warfighters are sacrificing for us and the way that we, as a nation, are coming together in their support!
Thank you Anonymous Diner!
I fear I may have shortchanged you though, as I consider my four-year AF tour as among the best years of my life. I met some great friends, had some great experiences, the base Education Office helped me begin my first college program, the GI Bill was there had I needed it to help pay for school (I was fortunate to work for a great company that was happy to pay for its employees’ advanced education efforts), technical training that helped me to get into a 30+ year career with IBM and, finally, I met my wife of these past 44+ years on a TDY assignment (to participate on a Source Selection Evaluation Board for the Maverick missile system) at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, where she was working as a Civil Service secretary (leading, of course, to my two great "kids" and a most-beautiful granddaughter). Moreover, for all this, I was never really put in harm's way, I was in Okinawa, basically Japan's Hawaii, rather than Viet Nam, riding motorcycles, SCUBA diving, and when I personally fired a weapon, it was at a target as a member of the Kadena Rifle Team and a couple of vacations in Guam and Taiwan. Most of my stateside service was in Florida with about nine months in Denver, CO, it just doesn’t get much better than that when trying to serve one’s country.
Nevertheless, thanks again, I truly appreciate your gesture on behalf of my "fellows-in-arms"! It is very encouraging to see the “good press and videos” in support of our warfighters that are frequently passed around via the Internet and the positive articles in the newspapers and TV news shows. However, I also personally find it very discouraging, and even disgusting, that some groups are holding protests at the funerals of returned soldiers…and perhaps even more so that “our” Supreme Court, almost unanimously, upheld their rights to do so. This shows absolutely no respect for their ultimate sacrifice! http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/03/02/supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-churchs-anti-gay-protests-at-fu/