Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

A Brief Veteran’s Day Tribute

This has nothing to do with BBQ. Not a single thing. But then again, maybe it does.

I was standing in line at the post office a while back, with a small box under my arm, making the best of my appointed downloaderrands there. The line was long, and the people in it were restless, wanting to get things moving, no doubt, so that they could get to the next line some place else. And I guess I was one of them. I’ve never been one for lines, but come to think of it, who is. Anyways, standing behind me was as elder man, sporting a red flannel shirt, gray hair and mustache, still of good form, and in his 80’s I should wager. I liked him right off. There was just something about how he held himself, and the patience he had there standing in line, that made him different I guess. Plus I liked his flannel. And patron to a quick glance at his ball cap, I deduced he was also a veteran of the Korean War.

My Pa was a Korean war veteran too. Flew in the big C-119 flying box car, which rumbled over the sea of Japan with tremendous regularity, bringing important supplies to our troops. Every body had a job or two out there, and that was his. I’ve heard some stories around the supper table in my day, let me tell you. But’s that’s all I know. The stories. Not being a veteran myself, I know I will never fully appreciate what it is really like to serve your country. To be on the battle field. I know this because of what happened next at the post office.

There was another old man standing in line, and he too caught a glimpse of the aforementioned Veteran, noted his ball cap, which plainly said “Korean War Veteran“, and promptly engaged him in penetrating conversation.

He asked the Veteran where he was assigned to, which squadron, and so on. I do not remember his answers. I didn’t need to. And neither do you. I just watched like a fly on the post office wall. Turns out they were both veterans of the Korean war. Both assigned to similar things. And within 30 seconds, nay, maybe even shorter than that, all the talking was done, and the old men simply embraced one another. Some heads turned in the post office, but they didn’t care. Brother’s of the trench, you might say. Clearly there was more going on here today, than postage exchange.

Moments like that sorta compel man to take pause, don’t they. Suddenly standing in line isn’t such an imposition. Nay, it’s our privilege. So may the Lord bless our veterans today, and every day, for their services selflessly rendered, so that you and I can even partake in something as mundane as standing in line at the post office. Our privilege indeed, And we thank you! We thank you one and all. Amen.

12 responses

  1. Nick Trandahl

    Thank you very much for this post. It was an honor for me to serve this great country.

    November 11, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    • You’re welcome, Nick! You guys are heroes, tho you’d probably never admit it. But you are. Hope it’s a good day for you. Great to see you, btw. Been a while!

      November 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

  2. wonderful post

    November 11, 2015 at 1:12 pm

  3. AMEN! Mahalo, Thank you Nick Trandahl for your service. It’s because of the Brave that we are ALL FREE! And I would like to thank all Veterans and their families, everyday, not just today. AMEN!

    November 11, 2015 at 4:01 pm

  4. Thank you for putting things in perspective. We should never forget what they have done for us.

    November 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

  5. Jenny

    Lovely story! Thanks so much for sharing!

    November 12, 2015 at 12:07 pm

  6. I too had a chance encounter with a veteran. His cap said “WWII, Korea, Vietnam”. I thanked him for his service in three wars. He proudly stated “I’m 94 years old and I shot down three zeros!” God bless him! 🙂

    November 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    • Wow! No kidding. Great story. Thanks TJ! God Bless you too, good sir!

      November 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm

  7. Superb post. Beautifully written. Being Irish and only in my 50s, I have never had the call. I should be grateful for that blessing too.
    Thanks for this post. A truly lovely piece of writing.

    November 12, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    • Many thanks Conor. Appreciate that. The props go to the soldiers tho. I don’t know if I could do what they do. They’re heroes, plain and simple.

      November 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm

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