For our veterans
I got this email one day, I don't know
where it originated, but it really expressed how I feel about our brave
Viet Nam 1966
(my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Viet Nam
other than he had been shot by a sniper. However, he had a rather
grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann
Margaret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures.
few years ago, Ann Margaret was doing a book signing at a local
bookstore. Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the
treasured photo so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o'clock for the
I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore,
circled the parking lot and disappeared behind a parking garage.
Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would
sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted.
was disappointed, but wanted to show her the photo and let her know how
much those shows meant to lonely GI's so far from home. Ann
came out looking as beautiful as ever and, as second in line, it was
soon Richard's turn.
presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo.
he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not
sign it. Richard said, "I understand. I just wanted her to see
took one look at the photo, tears welled up in her eyes and she said,
"This is one of my gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most certainly will
sign his photo. I know what these men did for their country and I
always have time for 'my gentlemen.'"
that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on
him. She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young
she met over the years, how much she admired them, and how much she
appreciated them. There weren't too many dry eyes among those
enough to hear. She then posed for pictures and acted as if he
only one there.
at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he'd like to
about it, my big strong husband broke down in tears. "That's the
time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army," he said.
night was a turning point for him. He walked a little straighter
for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet. I'll
forget Ann Margaret for her graciousness and how much that small act of
kindness meant to my husband.
now make it a point to say "Thank you" to every person I come across
who served in our Armed Forces. Freedom does not come cheap and I
grateful for all those who have served their country.
you'd like to pass on this story, feel free to do so. Perhaps it will
help others to become aware of how important it is to acknowledge the
contribution our service people make.
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