By: Cole Buergi, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
In honor of Veterans Day, it’s only fitting to thank the men and women who serve our country. These individuals are among the most selfless individuals. They volunteer to put themselves into harm’s way to protect an ideal of democracy and freedom.
Not only do they risk harm to themselves but, in times of war such as now, they leave their loved ones behind, not knowing if they will return. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the men and women serving in our armed forces, as well as to their families.
In my job, I have an opportunity to travel a fair amount and, when you are in the many airport hubs in the larger cities, you will see a number of people in uniform – either heading overseas or heading home.
On one such trip, I was waiting in line to grab a bite to eat before my next flight. Behind me entered a First Lieutenant from the Army. I struck up a conversation by thanking her for her service and asked if she was heading overseas or just returning. I was being polite because I could tell by the look in her eye and, in the way that she was carrying herself, she was just returning home. She responded that she had just returned from Iraq. In a very small gesture of appreciation, I paid for her lunch and then went about finding a place to eat as the restaurant was packed. When she received her meal, to my surprise, she walked over and asked if she could join my table.
As we talked, she informed me that the reason why she was returning home was that her father was very ill with cancer and there wasn’t much time left. Her mom had passed some time ago and she was an only child.
I realized how much she missed spending valuable time with the remaining member of her immediate family. We talked about that, and she admitted it was difficult to be away, but her father was a Vietnam veteran and understood. After our short conversation, I excused myself to catch my flight. She thanked me again for the lunch without even realizing that it was the least I could do for the sacrifices she has given to our country.
I personally make it a point to thank the Veterans and current service men and women whenever I have the opportunity and encourage others to do the same. If you know someone serving, or are friends with their family, give them a call and let them know how much you appreciate the protection they provide.
How have you shown your appreciation to our veterans? Are there any tips you can share? Your ideas might help others feel more comfortable thanking our service men and women.