Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let's Make a Pact

I want to tell you a little story
about something that happened this past weekend.

On Saturday I was in a store shopping.
It was an Ulta store/salon, 
a national chain for cosmetics 
and beauty supplies, perfumes, etc. 

While I was there, five young
soldiers -- three women and two men --
in fatigues walked in the door to do some shopping.
It's almost Valentine's Day 
and the men were looking at perfumes
 and the women were looking 
at pretty much everything!


One of the women who works there, 
 did something that brought tears to my eyes.

She went up to each and every one of them 
and hugged them
and thanked them 
for their service
to our great country.

I stood watching from behind an aisle
and got very choked up and teary-eyed.
(I get this way every single time I see a soldier.)

It wasn't always this way though.
I think it has to do with my being a mom,
and knowing they are 
some proud mother and father's baby.

I also think it is because I am a proud 
and grateful American
who has never taken our
rights and our freedom for granted.

After a few minutes, 
I got a hold of myself and swallowed
the lump in my throat.
I went over to Melinda and thanked her 
for doing something 
I wish I could have done. I told her I always
want to thank them when I see them 
(we are very near to an Armed Force training base)
but I get too emotional 
and choked up and cry ----
so I don't. 

I know, selfish me. 

Melinda thanked me and hugged me too
and then she took me over to meet them
and thank them. It was full water-works
with my eyes by the time I got to them.

Melinda introduced me 
and told them the story, and
they said THANK YOU!
It's ok if you cry! That they completely
appreciate and love it on the rare occasions
when a civilian does actually take the time
to stop and say thanks.

I am here to make a plea,
to make a pact with you.

Let's start a trend
and make the effort 
to go up to each 
and every soldier 
and thank them
when we see them.

For their honor,
their sacrifice,
their service to our country
and for protecting all of us
so we can live and not fear
to lay our heads safely on our pillows
each night. 

 Maybe you already thank them
when you see them?

But maybe you are like me 
and you get too
sentimental or emotional
to show your appreciation?

Whatever the case...
let's thank them
and tell them how much
they are appreciated.

What do you say?

 God Bless the soldiers and God Bless America too.   :)

Feel free to take this button and put it on your sidebar!


Sherry said...

I feel the same way you do! I get choked up too. I live in a house of guys and they think I'm silly! :)
Great story!

Rebecca said...

Absolutely! Why not?

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Alison, this is a great challenge! Thanks for this beautiful post!

AntiqueChase said...

Great idea! I love it!

Julie said...

thanks from a Marine mama...and yes it's okay to cry around here...:-)

Sarah said...

Alison, I say absolutely! We all need to be thanking these men and women who serve our country. Thanks for posting this! ~ Sarah

Linda in AZ * said...

*** THANK YOU, from an Army officer's wife of 38 years, for acknowledging our magnificent soldiers...

It was quite a life... it was what my husband did, and it was what "we" did... as a team, living out of the country for over 18 years off n' on, and moving more than 26 times...

I cannot EXPRESS to you how your words warmed my heart. My husband retired a few years ago~~~ and with that being our life since it started with him being a young Lieutenant, ACKNOWLEDGING & THANKING OUR SOLDIERS is natural & very easy for me to do, with or without tears, it makes no difference. THEY DESERVE IT, & I'M SO GLAD & SO VERY GRATEFUL YOU WROTE THIS, shared your experience, and ENCOURAGE others to THANK THEM!!! Too often it's simply that people don't "THINK" to thank them...

*** If it ever seems "awkward", or the timing is just wrong to speak at the moment, making EYE CONTACT with the SOLDIER(S), and putting your HAND TO YOUR HEART & silently mouthing "THANK YOU" always works...

May I send my BLESSINGS to you for what you just did/wrote here???

Linda in AZ *

Linda in AZ * said...

*** P.S. BIIIIG THANKS too, for N*O*T referring to those who so bravely serve as "kids" or "children"... You've got it all right!!! Linda ***

Blondie's Journal said...

What a sweet, sweet story! I get amazed and spend a lot of time staring at soldiers when I see one...just amazed at their bravery and selflessness. You are so right, it's time we showed them how proud we are and how much we care!


The enchanted home said...

Alison I have tears right now AND goosebumps!!!!! I am SO in agreement with you and like you I get incredibly choked up when I see one knowing the increidble and heroic sacrifices they are making. Just awe inspiring. What a beautiful person Melinda is and you, as well for sharing this beautiful story.
Thank you- next time I see a soldier I will thank them too :)

Custom Comforts said...

I say thank you for inspiring us. I don't see many soldiers, but from now on, I will say "thank you."

Cheri said...

Wonderful idea....tears streaming at the thought......I'm in!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I'm like you, Alison. I cried just reading your post! I would be afraid I wouldn't be able to get the words out for crying and they'd think I'm a nut. On the few occasions that I fly and I've seen members of the military I wished I had gone up to thank them.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Beautiful Alison!!!

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Great story, Alison! I say, YES, let's do it!!!

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

You have me in tears right now!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

I remember when we were in the Atlanta airport one time and it was full of soldiers and when a line of them walked through an area the whole place broke out in applause. That made me cry.

Olive Cooper said...

Yes lets do it.

Vicki said...

So glad you got to thank them even in your tears! My Dad and Barb's Dad are career military. I grew up seeing my Dad always go up and shake the hand of a fellow solidier, he'd ask them what branch they were in and shake there hand again if they were Air Force. LOL! I always learned from him to say thanks, sometimes I have tears, sometimes I don't.

jerri said...

Great idea! I just hope I can do so without blubbering. I have been like you - afraid of letting emotions get the best of me.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Melinda sounds like a special person. My cousin always stopped and thanked service men and because of her I do the same when I can. And they are always grateful. Makes me think of the time I was in Paris and a old man walked up to my Mom and I and asked if we were Americans, he hugged us and said thank you...he was thinking of WWII and was still greatful, some people do not forget.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This is a touching and sweet story! I agree always thank them! I seldom see soldiers in my area but if I do I will go up to them! Hugs, Linda

Richard Cottrell said...

This is a great story. We all need to thank more that way. They do give up a lot for our peace. I wish I was better and I am going to try harder now. Richard from My Old Historic House.

Ironstone and Pine said...

I agree 100%....hugs are powerful on both the giving and receiving ends...a very personal but public and heartfelt thank you!

michele said...

thanks for this, alison. if we all are poised for an embrace--i'm sure it will go a long way with our soldiers!


Ann from On Sutton Place said...

I try to always do this if I can...I have teared up a few times though. Not too long ago at church one of my former students was ushering in a uniform. I nearly came apart. I hugged him but couldn't say much because I was crying. They really don't care...they just want to know they are appreciated. Excellent post and a good reminder.

Priscilla said...

You are what all Americans should be doing.
Now you've got me crying. Remembering the filthy people who would shout rude remarks at my husband when he returned from VietNam, I've always gone out of my way to thank anyone in uniform. If possible I pick up their tab in a cafe or coffee shop.
Keep up the good work.

Karen said...

I'm in, I want them to know how proud and thankful we are that they do what they do. I too have sons and I always think of the moms and dads who share their young men and women with us to protect us.
Thank you for this.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

My father being career military instilled in us the love for our country and respect for all that serve. I was in an airport standing in line waiting to buy coffee. There was a soldier in front of me..We exchanged the usual good mornings, etc..When the soldier got ready to pay his bill, I lunged forward and paid his bill...He was most appreciative..but it is "I" that is most appreciative.

Great post Allison..Definitely a 2 box kleenex story!

Suzy said...

Excellent post, Alison. You are a girl after my own heart. I stand in awe of our military who bravely risk their lives each and every day. Both my mother and father served in WWII, my brother in Vietnam and my hubbie is a retired Marine. We have a place at the beach near Camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, NC and we both so enjoy being around all of the Marines. Semper Fi!

Barefoot in Blue Jeans said...

I'm teary eyed just reading your post. I feel the same and I will join you in saying thank you.

A Toile Tale said...

Alison -
I'm a cryer, too, but I learned something meaningful from the USO at the Atlanta airport. My husband and I volunteer there, especially on holidays when they have special meals for the military and their families. If you see military personnel, and you don't wish to "bother" them with your thanks, catch their eye, put your hand over your heart and nod at them. They all know that you are sending a message of thanks. There is even a you-tube video about it. I once asked a soldier at McDonalds if I could pay for his breakfast, and he said, "That's ok, I'm here with my family". I said that it would be even better if I could treat them all. I bought breakfast for nine people that morning and it was the best money I ever spent!
Linda @ A Toile Tale

5th and State said...

i love this sentiment allison and i will follow your lead

Calypso In The Country said...

Oh Alison, what a great story! Now I am crying! One time I was at an airport in North Carolina and a soldier was just arriving home to his family with a group of people holding signs. I watched as he ran to them with all of them crying and hugging. We just stood there watching and crying too. It was so emotional. Wonderful post and something important to think about. Have a great day!

CAS said...

Good for you, Alison! I was in an airport one time, in a packed pre-boarding area, waiting for a flight to de-plane. Three young soldiers emerged from that flight & the buzz of noise ceased. One person after another, in that crowded waiting area, stood up and applauded those young men. It was a multiple tissue event then just as it is right now.

Mary Anne said...

OMG Alison:

Many thank yous for verbalizing your feelings which were so beautifully expressed. I too get choked up when I see a soldier in fatiques. . . . my thoughts, "I wonder where his next trip will take him" Not long ago I actually (and for the very first time)said to a young man in fatiques, Thank You. He smiled and responded with "You are very welcome, so nice of you to care" I have never forgotten that Alison. You have helped me to realize the importance of continuing those thank you's! You are awesome!

At Home in English Valley said...

Thank you Alison, I like you get tears in my eyes on the rare occasion I do see a soldier. We were honored to have a soldier visit with our club, after we adopted him and his buddies. All we did was send some snacks and other items they requested. It seemed like such a small thing, compared to what they do for us each day. Each one of us hugged and thanked him that night. He told us how much our support meant to all of them. Reading your post today brought this brief meeting back to me, and the importance of remembering all those that serve. Count me in! Love, Penny

Ashley Perry said...

Wow! Tears to my eyes! Thanks for this beautiful post! I'll join in!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I am from Canada, and whenever I see military personel I thank them. I always thought, I couldn't do it, and someone has to, and I was thankful they did! I agree, keep up the encouraging words...

Great story. Thanks for raising awareness!

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Each time I come home since posting this two days ago, I stop to read all of your comments.
And of course, each time I CRY!

I am impressed with the mutual feelings that you all share and wish I could take this to a national level. I went to college for advertising and so it's in me to wish I could start a non-profit ad campaign anonymously to spread the message.

Thank you to those of you who have shared the nonverbal way of thanking the soldiers --- to hold my hand across my heart and nod with a smile to thank them.
Such a great tip for those days when I feel too weepy to speak to them!

Thanks so much for all of your heartfelt comments. It take s a village, right?

Love to each of you,

Becca said...

Such a wonderful post, Alison ... I feel the same way. My husband is a retired Marine (25 years), and my brother-in-law is a Navy Seal. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I know I always feel so emotional too. Between remembering a close friend that was killed in VN and how poorly their peers treated them and having a grown son and now three young grandsons I get so choked up. My heart goes out to them and their parents.



Beautiful post! I always thought that they should be thanked a million times, not demonice the like bad people...that's how eveyone sleeps better in the USA and believe me, in the free world too. Love,

Doll in the Looking Glass said...

Alison, this was a lovely post. I have proudly displayed your Always Thank a Soldier button on my blog.