|picture courtesy of google images|
Every person has hobbies they enjoy. Mine are music, photography and writing.
As a writer, I do a lot of research. From bilge pumps to 1800s fashion to plane diagrams, I read about a lot of subjects. But one of my favorite subjects to study has always been World War Two. Sometimes I get thick books from the library full of pictures of battles, camps and soldiers from the War. As I flip through it, I become sobered. So many young men-covered in blood and dirt and sweat-giving their all for their country. I can't help but think of what happened to them... Did they survive? And if they did, what became of them?
This reality check got me thinking. Thinking of veterans. Not just from World War Two, but from Korea, and Vietnam... and others.
I had never noticed or paid special attention to them before, but when I started becoming aware of them, I realized... They're everywhere. At the grocery store, at Wendy's, at the library.
So I started thanking them. It's sounds easy, but it's another thing to walk up to a total stranger and talk to them. Even for me, who is no shy person. But what I found when I started doing this, broke my heart.
They were surprised.
Nearly every time I have approached a veteran and thanked them for their service, they looked up with shock written on their face, stuttered, and then said, "Why... You're welcome. Thank you."
Why should it be this way? Why should it be such a shock to be told thank you? Our society has become so focused on ourselves-it's all about me, me, me-that we forget to look around us. We're too busy to stop and talk to that elderly Korean War veteran sitting on that bench at Walmart or the disabled Vietnam veteran down the street.
My urge to you is to look around you. Thank your local veterans. Show them we care... But why not take it a step further? Why not give them a gospel tract-the good news of Jesus Christ-as well as a word of thanks? It's the most important message anyone can ever hear or read. God can do miraculous things with a small piece of paper with the Salvation message written on it. You're never too old or too bad to have your life changed.
So let's stop sitting in our comfort zone and start making a difference.
And to all our veterans: Thank you.