First, I just want to say how grateful I am for those service members - current and prior - who give or gave of themselves for our country, so we could have freedom - whether freedom to begin with or to have continued freedom. I cannot truly express my gratitude for their sacrifice. I think of people like my husband, my dad, my grandfather, my brother-in-law, my father-in law, my uncle, my cousin's husband, my niece-in-law's love, and more. Thank you - from the bottom of my heart!
What I choose to write now is sad. Incredibly sad.
Over the last week, I have seen all kinds of sales that pop up just because people want to make the almighty buck. Buy our stuff on Veteran's Day and get 20% off - but, oh wait - you must show proof that you are current or retired military. What about all the restaurants - such as IHOP - who offer a free meal current or retired military? Must show proof. I know that without requiring proof, everyone and their dog will want a free meal. But, really, why do these businesses only honor those that are currently serving or those that gave 30 years? My husband's four years are just as important as the person who has been serving 5 days or the person who served 30 years. He gave 4 years of his life to serve this country. He lived 4 years away from his entire family to serve this country. Since our lovely government doesn't feel it important enough to issue a "veteran" ID card that can be used for things like this, my husband and anyone else who didn't retire or isn't currently serving, gets left out of the appreciation. I wonder if we were to take his discharge papers if these places would honor it. I bet not because then too many people would be getting the discount...
It was admirable to see him leave for work last night with his ginormous Air Force belt buckle on, along with his military hat that he likes to wear. But, it was disheartening to hear him tell me this morning that he wanted to go out for free Veteran's Day breakfast - but there was nowhere he could go because he wasn't current or retired military. Really people?!?!?! Do you know how many people are out there in the world that served our country that aren't retired or currently serving? Far more than are currently serving or are retired!
I hope he sits down today and writes the letter to IHOP that he said he was going to. They need to know what their patrons are feeling today...how disheartened they feel - like they've been crapped on.
Thank goodness for Golden Corral and Olive Garden though. They either just allow you to be honest (or dishonest in a lot of people's cases, I'm sure) or to show some other proof that you were in the military. And, you can bet that we will continue to patronize those businesses just because of that!