In recent years I have been more vocal in thanking veterans I recognize when I see them.
You can spot a vet when he or she is wearing a “gimme cap” that declares their status as a veteran. I especially do so when I see someone wearing a World War II or Korean War veteran cap. Why? The answer is obvious: they are getting quite old.
I don’t see many WWII vets these days, given their dwindling numbers. The last vet from that era I saw, I thanked him “for saving the world from tyranny.” He responded with something that suggested he had little to do with the fight. I offered my thanks once again and told him, “You deserve all the thanks that should come your way.” He smiled, shook my hand and didn’t say another word.
Sixteen million Americans suited up to fight tyranny and oppression during World War II. Last I heard there are about 500,000 (or fewer) of them alive today. The Korean War broke out five years after the end of World War II, so those vets are quite long in the tooth as well.
Veterans Day is approaching. I intend to go out of my way to thank every single vet I see that day and will dedicate myself to thanking them until they plant me into the ground.
As for Vietnam War veterans, my standard greeting to them is a simple “Welcome home,” which those of us who served in that conflict have come to appreciate. We didn’t get that kind of welcome when we came home from Southeast Asia.
So there you go. If you see a veteran, extend a word of thanks. I know for a fact they appreciate hearing it. Don’t stop doing so when Veterans Day comes to an end.