As I approached an elevator this weekend, I encountered a
man wearing U.S. Army dress blues (adorned with medals, badges, patches,
stripes and a silver oak leaf insignia).
He greeted me with “Good Morning. How are you today?”
I responded “I am well, thank you. How are you?
He replied that he, too, was well.
As we got on the elevator, I commented (in question form)
“You must be on your way to a Veteran’s Day service or celebration?”
He replied that he had traveled to Ohio from Norfolk (VA) to
be part of an appreciation breakfast hosted by an alumni chapter of Phi Beta
Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
We shared small talk about Norfolk; and as we got off the
elevator, we exchanged well wishes for the day. I added “Thank you for serving!”
He responded, with a smile, “Thank you for your support!”
That interchange got me thinking about what it means to
support our military veterans and active servicemen and servicewomen. I started
considering a number of ways to show support – donating to causes that help
veterans and troops; volunteering to give veterans a ride to medical
appointments; visiting VA hospitals and facilities that serve our wounded
soldiers; sponsoring a companion dog for veterans with PTSD; sending care
packages and letters; helping homeless veterans; volunteering with
organizations that serve our military personnel and their families; listening
to their stories and sharing them; advocating for the fulfillment of our
nation’s promises to our veterans, etc.
The list of ways to help is not limited to those listed
above. But perhaps the easiest way to support our veterans and active military
personnel is with a “Thank You” that is heartfelt and sincere. That simple act
of gratitude is something that we all can extend to show appreciation for
everything they have faced and sacrificed. It is something that can brighten
the day of a veteran or military person.
I trust that the smile on Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Hall’s
face as he said “Thank you for your support!” was an indication that my “thank
you” had brightened his day.