Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kids These Days

One of the interesting things about being in the military is having total strangers approach you and thank you for your service.  I am always taken aback, and don't really know what to say when someone does this, as "you're welcome" doesn't really capture my feelings of humility in serving along people who make sacrifices far greater than I in service to our country, and appreciation for the support of our fellow citizens that makes what we do possible.  One day while out with one of my military buddies we were tendered this grattitude and my friend replied with "thank you for your support".  I told him I had not heard that reply before but I found it particularly well suited for capturing my feelings and would be plagiarizing it on future occasions.

The other day as I was going for an evening walk through our neighborhood a youngster rode by with his friend on their skateboards, and as he pulled alongside me he asked me how I was doing.  I told him "pretty good", and upon shaking his outstretched hand he asked me if I was in the military.  I told him I was, and as he peeled away he said "thank you for your service!" to which I quickly replied "thank you for your support!"  I couldn't make out what his buddy said to him as they made their way down the hill, but I did hear him reply "I've never had anyone thank me back".  I was glad I was able to remember to reflect back my sincere gratitude for his support, and am encouraged that our nation's youth aren't all as shallow and self-absorbed as some would have us believe.  Who would have thought that a kid on a skateboard would make my night.