A Humbling Response 

After a long day playing on the lake with the kids, my wife and I treated ourselves to a late night dinner at the Waffle House. As we were checking out, I noticed a gentleman wearing a Vietnam Veteran cap. It was Memorial Day weekend, so it seemed right to pick up his bill. He thanked me, but he had already paid. I extended my hand and said, “Well, let me thank you for your service.” He took my hand, looked me in the eye and said with a smile, “You’re worth it, you’re an American.”

I know a lot of men join the service because it seems like the right next step. Perhaps some join because they are deeply patriotic. Others didn’t join at all but were drafted into service. Whatever his motivation for serving had been, he had thought deeply about what it meant for him and for our country. He had come to the conclusion that ultimately he wasn’t serving a collective ideal, he was serving and defending people, and a people that he deemed worthy of life and liberty. 

I will think about that answer for a long time. Am I really worth all he saw and did in Vietnam? I don’t know that I am, but I want to measure up to what that man saw in everyone privileged to be called an American. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “A Humbling Response 

  1. Many of us who served during Vietnam were treated with disgust when we returned from over seas – war zone or not. It was a different time than it is now. It is refreshing to have folks such as yourself show honor to any service person, from any era – wartime or not. I did not go to Vietnam as I was sent to Germany, but was ready if called to do so.

    We did not serve to only those who “honored” us, we served so that all Americans had the freedom to express themselves in a completely free country. I was not spit upon but confronted by some hostile folks who cursed and belittled me. My response was to smile and say that because of service persons, he enjoyed the freedom to say what he wanted to me or any other military person.

    No matter what political understanding a person possesses, any man or woman in the armed forces is there to serve his/her country and follow orders.

    Thank you for honoring this man whom you treated with respect. Please also show our first-responders with such kind courtesy as well, as they make sacrifices everyday for our safety.

    Many honorable persons work to make this a great nation – UNDER GOD – so I hope your readers will “pick up the check” for many people who are willing to die so they might live.