Normally, I am quite irritated by people standing outside of grocery stores asking for donations or hand-outs. Yesterday, I came home from a trip to Walmart and told Big Ben that I'm considering writing a letter concerning the "beggars" outside of the store. Then today... I ran to the store to pick up a few things. As I exited the store, I noticed two older gentleman dressed nicely and asking for money. I stopped and inquired and they indicated that it was money for Veterans. I NEVER give money to people, but I was overcome today and immediately fished around in my purse for cash. The man handed me a little red paper poppy with a note attached. The note said "Buddy Poppy wear it proudly."
Driving away from the store I thought about the course of events. I analyzed why I hadn't hesitated and gave the money, then my mind turned to the amazing amount of men in my life who are Military Veterans and I felt proud. There is a whole spectrum of reasons these men joined the military, some of them felt a duty to serve their country, other's weren't quite sure what else to do with their lives and some, like my dad, were drafted. Whatever the reason, I'm quite sure that none of them were prepared for the conditions, challenges or tragedy they would encounter in their military careers.
I am glad that I didn't allow this Memorial Day weekend to pass without giving pause for gratitude. I am grateful for my family and friends that have honorably served as well as every soldier I have not known. I am a proud American and I am incredibly proud to be a part of the legacy that generations of American soldiers have created!