Monday, May 25, 2015


In both my jobs, I come across many people- some memorable characters stand out, however.  Like the one old 89-year-old Marine who comes into the store on my second job.  I never knew his name (and I'm ashamed that I never asked), but he was always grateful for my help.  Somehow, he was able to drive, but his eyesight was so poor, that he couldn't tell the denomination of the cash he handed me to take (or if it was enough) or needed help to run his debit card...he couldn't read the PIN pad.  He always apologized for my having to help him.  I told him he had no need to apologize, that it was my privilege to serve him for what he's done for me.

For a while, he was in every week, buying dog food, sometimes a little food for himself.  He always seemed to recognize my voice and I recognized his slow, painful walk across the parking lot.  I took the time to hold the door for him and shake his hand and he was always a gracious gentleman.  Even at 89 years, his grip was a bone-crusher, and I reveled in his strength....

When he completed his transaction, he would say, "GOD bless you, sir!" and I would reply, "GOD bless YOU, as well!"  I would tell the people behind him that they were walking in the steps of a real man, a Marine.  Many would immediately thank him and sometimes he got hugs and handshakes from those in line.  He would walk out of the store a little straighter then....

He lied about his age and joined the Marines at age 16;  He was in well over 30 years and was in pretty rough shape from the conflicts he'd weathered.  I haven't seen him in about a year now; I wonder where he is.  But every time I saw him, I made sure I thanked him for his service.

For those of you who served, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!  For those who didn't, please be sure to thank a veteran- EVERY DAY, not just today.

Bud S. (

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