People gave lives and sacrificed all they had so we can spend our lives in freedom and prosperity. If that kind of sacrifice was not given by the defenders and military personnel, the freedom of movement, work and travel would have been impossible. Are people aware of the things the veterans did for the nation? Some people who personally witnessed that kind of sacrifice know and believe the difficult moments and terrible memories that the veterans have to struggle with.
Being aware or not, one thing is certain – we cannot find any way of repaying the veterans who put their lives at risk for the freedom’s sake. The physical and the emotional damage that they suffer from cannot be healed with any money in the world. However, paying attention to these people, helping them on regular basis and even reaching their families can be enormous expression of gratitude.
Lou Zezoff’s story may give us some ideas how we can express our gratitude to the veterans. He recalls one situation that touched him very deeply. Lou and his wife went out in the town in order to have a nice dinner. The dinner and the couple’s conversation was interrupted by a young man. The young man and his friends turned out to be Marines. This interruption was unexpected and what they said left him stunned. Apparently, the Marines’ intention was expressing appreciation and gratitude for the veteran’s services. Lou says:
“They wanted me to know how much they appreciated me.”
Lou and his wife were very surprised by the event. However, the surprise didn’t end there. As soon as Lou and his wife finished the dinner, they called the waiter and asked for the bill. The waiter on the other hand told them that it was their lucky day since their bill was paid by the young Marines. This shocked the couple even more. Upon hearing this, Lou went to the Marines’ table and expressed his gratitude regarding that pleasant surprise.
“They filed in front of my table, stood in line, and each one of them again put his hand out, shook my hand, thanked me, hugged me, and walked to my right.”
Lou’s story is a good illustration of how veterans feel. Even small act of gratitude means a lot to them. This reminds them that we, the people, have not forgotten them, that they are respected and they take a special part in out social existence. Things like this should happen more often and we have to let veterans know that we do care about them and appreciate all what they have done.