It might sound cliche; however, I dare you to walk up to a soldier and say ‘thank you.’
I got the chance to do this today. We are on day one of a six-day vacation to Branson, MO (camping with my incredible in-laws) and we ended up stopping in St. Joseph, MO off of I-29. I believe I stopped at every truck stop along the route today. When I am pulling our 40-foot travel trailer behind my Chevrolet 2500HD, I get about 6 miles per gallon. This assumes no head wind. Anyway, my father-in-law and I pull into the truck stop and there is this soldier pumping his gas. I was walking by and thought, what the heck, “(I’m) gonna say hello and thank you.” I did. In the coolest way a soldier who doesn’t want recognition can, he said, “Not a problem, it is an honor to serve.” Dang. That is what makes our country great.
I went inside the truck stop and came back to find my father-in-law and him chatting it up. I made some joke about him being 19 years-old, and he said, “(he) would do it again if he could.’
So, today’s activity is straight forward. I challenge you to find a soldier and thank them. IF you aren’t near a base where soldiers are, I challenge you to go to a police station with your kids. It is a 30-minute commitment of your time and your kids will thoroughly enjoy it. When I am with my boys and we meet a cop, I always ask them to say, “Thank you.”
A great article I stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago that I loved. David Rufful,Co-founder of Young Conservatives website, posted an article “14 ways to thank a soldier by a president who does it.” In his article, he suggests a few I wanted to highlight:
- Look them in the eye and give them a firm handshake. No one appreciates a firm handshake more than a soldier.
- Admire their medals. They were hard-earned.
- Always treat their families with great respect. They have been through more than you could imagine.
- Laugh with them! Laughter is a medicine that works 102% of the time.
- If you know a soldier, call them on the 4th of July.
- Listen. Listening is often the best gift you can give someone.
- Make sure you are respectful.
- But if you only have a minute, look them square in the eye… And say, “Thank you.
Religious Corner (for those so inclined)
“Dear Lord: Thank you for the courage you give me in every season of my life. Today, I ask you to be with the men and women who protect the innocent, wherever they are around the world this day. Please bring them peace; calm their hearts whether they are on the battlefield or safe at home. Please help to remind me of their sacrifices so I can keep them close to my heart through prayer. In your name, Amen.”