14 November 2011

11-11-11 Wheatland, Wyoming

I was a little tired from being at the local grocery store most of the day.  Returning to the VFW hall with the remaining Buddy Poppies and the can of donations for our veterans; it seemed like just another Veterans Day.  Not that Veterans Days are mundane by any means, its just that on this particular day I was taken completely by surprise!

As I was walking down the sidewalk toward the hall, I noticed two girls kind of looking around, a little out of place at 4 in the afternoon.  They noticed my approach and came directly toward me.  My first thought was they were looking for someone and I was going to see if I could help.  Just before they got all the way to me the one girl started to go on about forgetting the paper that she had something all written down on and sounded like she was apologizing to me for being here unprepared.  Then they both said that they came here to tell me Thanks for Serving and that they appreciated my sacrifice for our country.  We exchanged a few more pleasant words and parted company.  After dropping off my items in the VFW hall, I went back outside and the girls were gone.  Amazed that two young ladies would come out in the cold just to tell some stranger thank you, I got in my car and went home.

40 plus years ago I served with the Marine Corps in an unpopular war in southeast Asia.  When I returned from Vietnam, I remember the protesters outside the gate spitting at us... then my first job interview where the owner of the gas station called me a baby killer and to get the hell out!  Never was I thanked for my service; these two young ladies really blew me away.

Isn't America fantastic!  The change in attitude toward our veterans is amazing!  The pride, patriotism and kindness that somehow these two young ladies were able to share with me will be cherished for the rest of my days.  Who would have thought that you would find this type of Americanism in Wheatland, Wyoming.  It's my turn to say thanks... to these young ladies and their parents, teachers and our community for instilling values some believe are lost.

Just before the Chili Supper at the 4H Building

The following are a few pics of the 236th Marine Corps Birthday Dinner on 11-10-11

The Birthday Ball in Wheatland was a great time.  Prime Rib dinner; traditional cake cutting and the passing of the cake from the oldest to the youngest Marine present; toasts with a traditional rum punch; Singing the Marine Corps Hymn; the best was sharing the evening with Marines and family!