As a Sailor for many years I appreciate it when a person recognizes my service with a thank-you for it. And I try to respond with “it was truly was my honor to serve". Many times, though I get a feeling it is just a reaction to an event, like when someone sneezes and the person next to them says "God Bless you".
As I write this I am reminded of a time while I was in my uniform and standing in line at Starbucks. A gentleman dressed in a suit and tie asked "can I buy you your cup of coffee?" My initial thought was that’s OK I can do it. Then after a bit of thought, I agreed. Then he asked me about my service, and where I had served; mostly just a chit chat of a conversation at an airport Starbucks. He then said to me something that sticks with me still today, this Veteran's Day 2016. He said " I admire those ordinary Americans who go forward and do what most of us Americans will not do to protect those who cannot protect themselves." I was truly impressed by that. We shook hands after that, as he had a flight to catch. As I watched him disappear into the crowd, I felt a joy and a sense of pride that a busy person would take the time to ask about my service.
To my brother and sister veterans, I lift that cup in salute to you for your willingness to have served; and to my civilian readers when you see a service member or veteran in the days to come take the time to buy them a cup of joe and ask them about their service and that you are grateful that they went forward to serve those who will not or cannot do so.
For all of us, please enjoy your freedom to be Americans. Because some ordinary American is and has paid a price for us all to be free. Happy Veterans Day and may God Bless America!