Almost every day my dog and I walk past the house of a veteran. How do I know? There's the United States Marine Corps flag he flies in addition to the American flag. And there's the THANK A VETERAN bumper sticker on his truck.
I've seen this former Marine outside his house a few times. He's older now, with a full head of white hair, but still stands tall, well over six feet. If he's intimidating now—and he is—I can only imagine what a badass he must have been in his prime.
I've always wanted to follow the directive on his bumper sticker and thank the man for his service, but have only mustered a tight-lipped smile or a nod and a mumbled "Sir" (how pandering of me!) the few times we've made eye contact.
But I can say it here! Thank you to our veterans. It hardly seems enough, but Veteran's Day at least gives us a place to start.
And one day I'll work up the nerve to say thank you to that Marine.
(Interested in donating to veterans' causes? Consider Fisher House -- Helping Military Families.)
Earlier: A Belated Look at True Veterans
UPDATE, JANUARY 30, 2009:
Finally did it! Saw him outside his house, steeled my nerves and said thank you. Of course, he was perfectly pleasant. Said, "That was 63 years ago!" Amazing.