People Don't Say That Too Often Anymore | Anchors Aweigh

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People Don't Say That Too Often Anymore

A few weeks ago, Parker and I went to Walmart. Cool story, right? Seriously though, there was an older man in front of the store with a booth. There was a sign above him that read "Military Order of the Purple Heart". It's probably fairly obvious from my husband's career that I support our military. I dug out a dollar, handed it to the man, and prepared to go about my shopping trip. He thanked me for the donation, and I thanked him for his service. Then he said something that made me cringe:

"People don't say that too often anymore."

I found this so disappointing. I smiled and walked into the store, but his words stuck with me. Every person who joins the military writes a blank check payable to the United States of America for any amount including and up to his/her life, and we don't even say thank you anymore? Sometimes it is hard to remember to say thank you, and I get that. While we are sitting on the couch watching Netflix, brave men and women are in the line of fire in terrorist countries, and it's a hard truth to swallow. I think a lot of us know it's going on but don't want to think about it. It's not pleasant, so we stay in our own little bubble of happiness and put the cold truth out of our minds.

I don't always say thank you as I walk past veterans, and I imagine they think our generation is made up of a bunch of ungrateful, entitled kids. I would probably think that. From now on, I am going to make a conscious effort to thank those who have served our country. I get so excited and beam with pride every time someone pulls Parker aside and thanks him for serving our country. Sometimes people even thank me for just supporting Parker as he serves our country, which I never really like since I don't think I should get any of the credit for the sacrifices he makes. The point is, these guys deserve to be thanked.

This is a topic we don't like to talk about, but military suicide is a real thing. Maybe if we showed these soldiers and sailors and aviators just how much their service meant, they wouldn't feel so isolated and succumb to so many emotional and mental illnesses upon returning from deployment. I know these illnesses are real and not to be made light of, but let's do our part and make them feel loved and appreciated. Antonio Centeno is a former Marine who has made it his mission to stop military suicides. He is selling ties and donating $20,000 to Stop Soldier Suicide this Veteran's Day. Feel free to check out his website and see what you can do to help.

Next time you see a veteran on the street, please thank them. It will probably mean more than you know.

17 comments :

Finley said...

Thats so well said and so completely true. We take it for granted so much and it is when you don't see something all the time or hear about it you do definitely take it for granted. It is such an important thing in this world to have people like yours husband and so many others who do thankless jobs....and such a ridiculously unselfish job too! Pretty amazing!

Just new to your blog too. Love it - you two are super cute!!!

Melissa said...

Amen to that, Chelsea. I have a friend that posted something on facebook to the effect of "soldiers are the problem" the other day, and I was just blown away. I wish more people would realize that it's our men who give them the opportunity to say such stupid things.

http://lovinglifemoore.blogspot.com

Jamie @ You Gotta Have Hart said...

OMG! I wish you were my "friend" on FB! Being that I'm in Pensacola, FL (with all the bases).. I am CONSTANTLY telling people "thank you for protecting my freedom"-- just this past Monday I posted on Facebook this: "Pumping gas and got the chance to thank a Military couple for protecting my freedom. I love the reactions when I give sincere thanks for their service. BE THAT PERSON!!"
I will randomly walk up to people in uniform and tell them and it makes me so happy!

ugottahavehart.blogspot.com

Jamie @ You Gotta Have Hart said...

Oh and I was going to blog about it too.. I'd love to link this post when I do!! :)

Amy said...

I definitely need to make a better effort at saying thank you when I see men and women in uniform. I've done it a lot in the past - but far too often I think "oh they will think i'm stupid". who cares - I AM thankful for their service and sacrifice. So yes, thank you to your husband AND to you for doing what y'all do for our country! <3

Patrick weseman said...

What you did was so nice and it made his day.

Going to say this and please do not take this as whining and please no sympathy.

I served in the Navy-Desert Storm Veteran and to be honest I try not to mention my service at my job.It makes life much easier.

People in my neck of the woods tend to treat vets as leppers. They tend to think that I am anti-gay, right-wing, racist and whatever. My favorite one was when a co-worker said I was a disappoint to the Civil Rights cause.

An example, when my daughter (who is a senior in high school) express interest in joining the Navy out of high school-the you-know-what hit the fan from her teachers. When I talked to one, they pretty much said I was loser for serving.

Keep doing what you are doing and thank you for your service as a Naval wife and your husband for his service,

Eights on the Move said...

Such a bummer :( I had a similar situation this summer. A man was wearing a Vietnam Veteran hat & I thanked him for his service. He scoffed at me like I said something offensive. I asked my dad about it afterwards (who also served in Vietnam) and he said that most military people from his generation were treated with so much disrespect when they came back from war. A far cry from how most military members are treated today (military nights at the ballpark, etc). Hopefully we can all do our part to treat everyone with gratitude :) Thanks for sharing!

Lindley @ The Grinning Labrador said...

This is so important! I need to stop being so shy and speak up and say thank you!

Miranda Pridgeon said...

Very good point! I always try and thank a Veteran when I see one. However, my Husband who is actively serving, gets really uncomfortable when people thank him for what he does. He actually despises it. To him it's his job, his life, and he doesn't feel like he is any different than the average person with a job and doing what they were born to do. Since he feels this way sometimes I wonder if others I thank feel the same way as him?

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

I will make sure to thank soldiers from here on out. My dad is a Vietnam War veteran and he makes me proud!

Traci@TheHallway said...

Such great words! People often forget that those soldiers were doing just what our husbands our doing now... When you really think about it, it is sad that people don't thank them enough for their service. To think that our husbands get stopped and thanked for their service now, I only hope as Veterans they get thanked as well for all of their time served.

Tammy Jo said...

Last summer we went to Sea World in San Antonio, it was apparently military appreciation day, because there were a lot of active service men and women there in uniform. My dad shook one of the young man's hand and told him thank you. My dad is a burly guy and that totally touched me. I agree we don't say thank you enough!

Jes said...

I'm so glad you shared this story. Recently, this has been something I've thought a lot about. I don't know what brought it to mind originally but every time I see and older person wearing a veteran hat I always wonder if they hear "thank you" as often as the current generation of soldiers does.

Night Owl said...

all I say is thank you. I say thank you when supervisors and whatever help me at work on the job. I say thanks when someone holds the door for me. and so much. I was taught to say please and thank you and I even use them daily now due to working in customer service

Lauren Zimmerman said...

I am so with you on this! If strangers are showing our soldiers respect, we should do the same for fellow military spouses.

Samantha @ Life is But a Stream of Thoughts said...

Aww this just breaks my heart. I think we can all make more of an effort to let every soldier, past and present, that we appreciate them.

Kelly said...

Wow, that is soo sad. I will definitely go out of my way now to make sure I think a veteran!

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