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.