Last week, I began reading a daily blog posting of a friend who is being prepared to be sent off across the big pond. It made me think about how many people I am connected to that are either there, have been there or are preparing to go there. There? The land of defending our Freedom. I started counting on my fingers how many people I know personally or know them through their family members. I ran out of fingers! We are all touched somehow by someone who is defending our Freedom.
And this got me to thinking even more.
When was the last time I said “Thank you”? I have thanked a vet. I have thanked a reservist. I have thanked a serviceman home on furlough. But – it’s been a couple months. Then I thought – maybe it’s high time I begin to say my Thanks to these personnel more often and even better – face to face regularly.
Then I was tested!
Last Friday I was at Chick-fil-A in Macedonia. Out of a truck steps a young girl in Army fatigues. I hear a little voice say—“Here’s your chance, did you mean what you said about face to face thanks?” I begin to squirm in my chair thinking, but I don’t know this girl. Further thoughts went….”So what – do you appreciate her service even though you don’t know her? But, of course I do! Then get off your duff and go say Thanks.”
I finished gathering my trash while she and her friend were ordering. I got up and took my tray to throw out my trash. I turned around and, gulp, there she was, standing against the condiment counter just 5 feet from me. What in the world was my problem. I’m not even shy. Yeah – I’m not shy, why am I holding back? Could it be I think I’ll freak her out coming up to her? I don’t know.
Yep – creep her out I did. I walked right up to her with a smile and an outstretched right hand of friendship. I said, “Excuse me” to her friend and proceeded with the young soldier. I said, “Thank you so much for your service. I am greatly appreciative for your dedication. I believe in what you are doing for our Freedom and I do not take your daily sacrifice for granted. Thank you very much.”
At this point, her hand grip become tighter and the shake was given back. A huge smile came across her face. She replied, “Thank you very much for your support. We need it.”
That young soldier taught me something. So what if I at first creeped her out charging up to her. Her response and body language back told me that she needed that. They need that. I need that.
So, my friends, I’m challenging you to stretch out of your comfort zone for a second or two when you see someone in fatigues or dress uniform. Reach out that right hand of friendship and say “Thank You”. Who cares if you’re shy or maybe not shy. They need our thanks and support. It’s quite a tiny sacrifice we are giving considering the HUGE sacrifice they are giving leaving home and families for us—and they don’t even know us either.
C’mon. Do it. Reach out that right hand and shake the right hand of a military man or woman the next chance you get.
I dare you.
Nah – I Double Dog Dare you!!!
…and that’s all I have to say about that!