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.


molly said...

That was so nice of you and your husband! On the one hand there is all the lip service and glad handing by the politicians, and on the other, stories of young vets unable to find work when they come back, not being paid money the government owes them so that they can't pay their bills and risk losing their homes. Horror stories abound! We need to put our money where our mouth is and treat them better than that, and, as you say, get the hell out of Afganistan!

Changes in the wind said...

This is a wonderful story!! and a little glimpse into you and your hubby (also pretty great)......Thanks for sharing.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i love this story! i wish we had been able to get out but sarge is in that bad week, today we have the dr. appt., that's as far as he can go.

smiles, bee

Granny Annie said...

I love this story so much. You and your husband received precious memories by your generosity. My husband has enjoyed reading about every restaurant that has offered special benefits for veterans. He too clearly remembers having to avoid wearing his uniform into restaurants in the 70's for fear of being spit upon. He said even their military haircuts gave them away and brought on harassment and shouts of baby killer.

Anonymous said...

Hi K and Jack.
It was truly wonderful to meet you at Applebee's last week on Veteran's Day. It is amazing how fate brings people together! With that being said, imagine my surprise when we bumped into you at Panera Bread tonight (literally, I had to stomp on the "toaster brakes").
The blog is awesome and your retelling of our story brought tears to my eyes. For a couple of old fogies your sure have me kicked with the technology edge (I have never blogged before). Perhaps you can give me some tips?
We would love to take you up on the offer to swim sometime. Keep in touch. Hugs.

lesleyjack said...

I was surprised you didn't mention Greg.

Leslie Anne Pease said...

Truly a wonderful story. I hope you do hear from them again. What an interesting relationship that would turn into!

B.S. said...

What a lovely story! I'm impressed with Applebee's and their respect for vets. The vets I have known during my life really have been outstanding man and women- I have to agree with you that the services gives people incredible values.