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July 28, 2007

Honor those who served

I got a call from George yesterday asking if I wanted to meet him at home for lunch because he had dome work to do. I agreed and quickly ran to the commissary (post grocery store open only to military families and retirees) to pick up some microwave meals (I LOVE Lean Cusines). After getting the stuff for lunch and some added items for last night's dinner party, I jumped in the express line, really not in a rush because work was slow at the office.
At the cashier was an elderly gentleman who instantly reminded me of my great-grandfather who passed away a few years ago, and there were two ladies in line after him.
Not being in a hurry, I was zoning out while waiting in line and found it comical when I noticed the two ladies impatiently shuffling their items waiting for the gentleman to finihs. After a few minutes, my curiosty got to me why we weren't ovind and this is what I witnessed:

Cashier: "Sir, I need more money."

Elderly gentleman, as he pulled a orange medicine bottle out of his pocket and dumped change onto the counter: "I have some here."

Cashier, after counting change: "Sir, there is not enough. We need more."

Gentleman, kind of confused: "I gave it all to you."

Cashier: "But it's not enough sir. There is only $5 here."

Gentleman, looking flustered and nervous: "Can I bring you more later?"

Cashier: "No, sir. You have to put stuff back."

As he began to shuffle through his bags of instant noodles and soup, I walked forward and asked the cashier how much she needed. "Don't worry," she said. "He'll put stuff back."

"It's not a problem," I said. "Just tell me what you need."

"His total is $10.13, but he only has $5," she said. So I opened my purse and gave her $7 telling her to give the bagger the change as a tip. The gentleman turned and thanked me, smiling for the first time. The ladies behind him began saying they were sorry and would have helped if they had noticed.

As I got back in my place in line, I hoped that someone would help my grandfather if he needed it. When my turn came to pay for my groceries, the cashier said he came in each week to get his groceries for the week, but that he had recently been diagnozed with Alzheimers (sp?). I couldn't help but think that $7 for me is lunch at the deli, but it was a week's worth of groceries for this veteran. Being the end of the month, money is surely tight in many households, but to his it was truly the difference between eating or starving.

He had done his duty to this country, the least I could do was help him in his time of need. I think his smile will stay with me a while and serve as a reminder of how important it is to remember our veterans, even after they leave the service.

8 Tea Party Guest:

lime said...

thank you. all i can say is thanks.

Cheryl said...

That was kind of you, you probably made his day

Tommy said...

You are a good person ... no matter what KG and JD say about you. I like you!
TG

stitcherw said...

What a thoughtful thing to do, so many elderly are caught in this bind and really do need help. You made his day (and week as he'll have enough to eat) and helped others to think beyond themselves. A RAK like that can touch so many lives.
Sue

Dawn said...

That was so sweet of you! I wish there were more people who would do that for the elderly.

BLGH said...

How nice of you. So good that he was able to buy his groceries.

see you there! said...

Wish I could give you a big hug. I'll bet your Momma is proud of you.

Posts like this keep my faith in the human race from failing.

Darla

smilnsigh said...

This is a beautiful entry. Thank you.

Mari-Nanci