Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day at Applebees

Today was Veteran's Day. Applebee's Restaurants offered a free meal to all vets. We went to our local Applebee's in North Fort Myers around 2:30, thinking it would not be too busy and we could split the difference between lunch and dinner. You should have seen the crowd waiting inside, outside and everywhere we looked, but since we are old and don't have a heck of a lot of pressing engagements, we put our name on the list and waited in the car for twenty minutes or so while listening to talk radio. Then, we waited inside for another fifteen minutes and were about to be seated when a couple of young men (by young, I mean somewhere between 28 and 45 years old) asked how long to be seated. They were not together and were about to leave when my husband (U.S. Navy during the Korean War) asked them if they would like to sit with us, since we were about to be seated. Both Morgan with wife Lisa (Afghanistan) and Brian (twenty years with duty everywhere) jumped at the chance to join a couple of old fogies with immediate seating. We had a wonderful time eating with young vets and hearing about their lives now that they are out of service and into the world of work, families and life. The service had given them marvelous values ... I would have been proud to have them as my kids. When we had finished our late lunch, we exchanged names and phone numbers and I truly hope to see these vets again. Thank you Applebee's for a great meal and for the opportunity to renew my faith in a younger generation. Our service men and women are spectacular human beings. I wish our government respected them enough to get in or get out of Afghanistan before the death toll rises while in a holding pattern. To Morgan, Lisa and Brian.... thanks for a lovely afternoon.