05 July 2008

Thank you, Sir and Madam

Dear Sir and Madam,

We don’t know who you are, but we want to thank you. It was so generous of you to pay for our dinner at Le Reve last night. It was the Fourth of July, but we were actually there to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It is one of the high points of our year to visit Andrew and Maureen for a wonderful meal. We didn’t mean for you to overhear that I had returned from my second trip to Iraq this year. The staff knows that I was away and it seemed like each of them individually asked if I was going to have to go back. When you wished me a good evening as you left, I naively took it to be a simple farewell. Meredith asked if we had been talking while she was in the ladies’ room, but I told her that I thought it was just a warm greeting from another friendly diner. At the end of the evening, when the staff told us that you had taken care of our bill, I was dumbstruck. Meredith was so surprised and thankful that she couldn’t keep back tears. It really was far too generous, and wholly not necessary. When I do my military service, I am just doing a job, same as everyone else. It is something I chose of my own free will. Andrew and Maureen have promised they will try to convey our thanks to you. You gave us a very happy Fourth of July.

Chris and Meredith

6 comments:

artillerywifecq said...

I feel awkward when people do that for Bob and I. I have had it happen on several occasions, the most recent was our goodbye breakfast at IHOP before he went back to the sandbox after R&R. The staff kept bringing him food and the table next to us paid the bill with out a word when the left. When it was time for our bill to arrive we only got a napkin with the words thank you for your service and fighting for me. He almost cried. He has been the victim of nasty words and accusations on many occasions and my car was vandalized a few years ago for having a yellow ribbon and POW/MIA sticker. The sticker was scratched off, the car keyed and the ribbon burned and melted onto the hood. Luckily the dumb ass was nice enough to spit on the car and the DNA was in the national database. My policy is you don't have to support the war, but do be nice to the troops or just ignore them if you have nothing nice to say. I am glad you had a wonderful anniversary!

Chris said...

Artillerywifecq:
Thanks for stopping in. Wow, I can't believe that your car was targeted for supporting the troops (including your own troop!) I think that I am very lucky that I have come back to a citizenry that has figured out since the 70's that opposition to the war doesn't mean antagonism of the troops. I have had many strangers stop me to shake my hand and say thank you, for doing nothing more than happening to be in uniform when I'm stopping to fill the tank with gas. Last night was the first time that Meredith ever saw it happen. I don't feel awkward anymore (I've always felt I don't deserve it) but I've learned to accept the thanks as a representative for many many hardworking troops who deserve it more than I do. All my best to you and Bob! I will hope for his safe and rapid return. Thank you very much for your sacrifice and what you do for our country. As I told Meredith last night, if someone says thank you to us, it is far more deserved by her for keeping up with home and our boys when I'm away.

Be well,

Chris

Anonymous said...

My two brothers always feel awkward, too, but let me tell you as a civilian, it really does my heart good to see and hear of others' shows of appreciation. It doesn't have to be money spent (although you all deserve that and so much more) but I get so disgusted and am so tired of the abuse that some individuals, some organizations (i.e. Code Stink), and most MSM (i.e. New York Slimes) hurl at our military.

I've always considered myself pretty 'center' (of the left and right.) So lest someone read this and try to assign me to a corner, don't even try.

All that being said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!" to you who have served/are serving, to the families, and to you who show your appreciation for the men and women (and their families) who sacrifice SO much FOR so much.

This is my first time commenting on your blog, Chris, but I've been reading. Thank you for blogging, too. : )

G

Laurel said...

We, the American people, need to do things like that, Chris...things like picking up the tab at the restaurant, as that couple did. The service and sacrifices of our military men and women for our country, are a very emotional thing for us. The majority of Americans don't get a chance to say thank you, up close and personal. The couple who picked up your dinner tab the other night said it for not only themselves, but for thousands of other Americans who will never get the chance to meet a soldier face-to-face in their lifetime, but who so dearly yearn to express their thanks and gratitude to our men and women serving in our military. So, thank you to that couple who picked up your dinner tab, from many grateful Americans who've never had the chance to do so.

Chris said...

Dear G and Laurel,

Thanks for writing in. I've been so excited about what happened to us that I'm telling all our family and friends.

There is something I have wanted to post, about a neat way to say thank you to troops, but it felt wierd putting it in the body of a blog (being a troop myself.) It is using the ASL for "Thank you" to show how you feel. I'm often in an airport in civilian clothes, and it is something I do whenever I see a troop in uniform.

Here is the link to the Graditude Campaign:

http://www.gratitudecampaign.org/

Good to see you!

Chris

ChefSara said...

I'm so glad you had a great anniversary! And I have to say, this story restores my faith in humanity. It's so easy to only see the negative. This couple's quiet gesture of thanks speaks louder than the noisy minority who often dominate the conversation.