I was tooling around on facebook Friday night, and noticed the new contest hosted by The Melting Pot. You're supposed to post a story about your favorite veteran.
It got me thinking. Who is my favorite veteran? The one that comes to mind immediately is Army Guy, from work. I seriously can't say enough good about him. He is spectacular (even if he doesn't wear his helmet). He is a blast and a half to spend time with. He's nice. He's kind. He's hilarious. He is complimentary - both times I've brought goodies into work, he's practically tripped over himself complimenting everything. And even today as I was walking up to the wine bar (he was pouring), he asked if I had lost weight. The opposite has happened, in fact, but he really appears to care about people, and let them know he cares. As I was standing there tasting today, an older woman walked up. Army Guy complimented her on her jewelry "getup." He's always super positive. I love it.
Or a veteran I know a little better. Matt-One. Someone that I know without a doubt I could call in the dead of night, and he would be there for me. One of those 2-AM flat-tire friends. I might not have talked to him in a while, but I know he doesn't care any less. We were both there for each other when we needed it most. When Katie was being a megabitch and dumped him without telling him, I was the one he called at o'dark-thirty from Iraq. When I was struggling in my relationship with Kyle, he was the one that listened. No matter how many times I said the same thing, or how frustrated he must have been telling me to leave, he still listened.
Or Ryan. The veteran I've known for 18 years. The one I planned a trip to Europe with this summer. One of the most respectable and respectful guys I know. I've shown up to his place at 4AM and been welcomed with open arms.
Or either of my two grandfathers who served - Grandpa Harold and Mom's dad, Grandpa Bud. Grandpa Harold served in Korea for two years. Grandpa Bud also served for two years, and got out as an E-5. He left the Army because they had implemented a freeze and wouldn't promote him. That makes me laugh now. I know someone who has 8 years in and JUST made E-5. (Or maybe it was E-4?) Grandpa was such a stellar soldier that he advanced that quickly.
I'm getting really sleepy and having a hard time keeping my eyes open. The point I was trying to make (mostly to myself) with that is that I know so many truly amazing veterans. I have allowed my failed relationship to color my opinion of Marines in particular, and my interactions with other less-than-stellar service members to color the military and veterans in general. It's unfortunate, and I need to work to change that, because I know so many veterans that are wonderful people. These five people are far from an exhaustive list. The great service members I know are much more common than the awful ones, and that's something I know I need to work on in my head.
I might be having a beer chili date tonight, so I should probably get some sleep so I can pick up the kitchen mess I managed to make earlier. (Side note: I don't know why I ever dated someone who doesn't love curry. I love cooking it, love eating it, and love sharing it with someone who also enjoys the finer things in life!) I have a few errands to run before work, and it's almost 2AM already, so I should get to bed. Ciao!