I want to preface this by saying that I am by no means an “All American Girl.” I am not the most patriotic or anything like that, but I am an American, and I do love my country. And I also have such high respect for those people who live, and die, to protect it. So my post today is to say thank you.
Both of my grandfathers served in World War II and they were fortunate enough to have something to come home to – a home and people that loved them.
It truly saddens me that there are veterans who don’t have such comfort when they return.
I interned in Washington, D.C. for three months – taking the Metro, walking the streets, seeing all the homeless people day in and day out. It makes me sad, but honestly in some situations, I believe they put themselves there. Not in all cases, but I still couldn’t bring myself to hand over any money to them. I barely had any myself, interning for no pay and all.
Then one day I was walking to CVS on my lunch break and there was this man on the corner looking for money. I almost walked by without a second glance like I normally would. Except.. he showed me his military ID. Something hit me at that moment. Why are these people, these veterans that did SO much for us, seeing nothing in return?
I know it wasn’t much, but I took a dollar out of wallet and gave it to him. I couldn’t help myself.
Do I know for certain he didn’t put himself in that situation too, just like so many other homeless people? No, I don’t. But for all the good things he’s done for our country, it’s okay if he did a little bad.
He’s the only person I have ever given money to on the street, and probably will be unless I see another brave, strong veteran out on the street dropping their pride because somehow the country they fought for failed them.
I guess this post is more than just a thank you – it’s a call to action. I hope that from now on, if you see a veteran like the gentleman I saw on the street, help them. Even if you can’t spare the dollar, at least thank him or her. Something as small as that might make someone’s day.
I would love to sit here and say I’m a changed person now; that I give money to every homeless person I meet. But I’m not. I do, however, understand the value of what these service men and women do and appreciate them immensely. That’s why I say all of this, and why if I went back and saw that man outside of CVS again, I would give him another dollar.
To all the veterans out there – past, present, and future – we appreciate you. Thank you for serving, and God bless!