Today was a very long day. It is filed under "parenting is not for wimps". Such is life. However, there was a shining moment that I will share here.
I thanked an Airman dressed in fatigues today. It was such a treat. I don't call attention to a very simple gesture to pat myself on the back. I'm doing it to encourage you to take the same opportunity. I know, it can seem a bit awkward to walk up to a stranger and say thank you. Just get over yourself. Do it.
The setting was inside a very large comfort center off I-10 not too far outside of San Antonio. It's the kind of place where you can multi-task - fill up the gas tank, use the very clean rest rooms, and buy snacks and even nationally known fast food. Also, lots of cheesy souvenirs are available for tourists. Randolph Air Force Base is located in San Antonio. As it happens, my husband was stationed there during his stint in the Vietnam years. I didn't know him then. But, I digress. This young man was walking past me in one of the aisles loaded with snacks. I noticed the fatigues out of the corner of my eye. I turned and saw he was alone, doing what I was doing, looking for junk food. I grabbed a bag of sour cream and onion chips and went over to him. Pausing just a second, I looked up at him, into his eyes and said, "Thank you for your service." Simple as that. Five words.
Frankly, he was startled. He blinked and his smile went from ear to ear. Collecting himself, he said, "Thank you, Ma'am." Other than the fact I'm still a little sensitive about the whole "ma'am" thing, even though I am a Baby Boomer not getting any younger, my smile was fairly large, too.
President Obama has begun to release his plans to expand troops in Afghanistan. Our military and civilian forces are still in Iraq. We are in many countries around the world as keepers of the peace. Take the opportunity to step out of your own comfort zone and thank them whenever you can.
You'll feel great, too. I promise.