In The Line At The Coffee Shop

Sunday morning, late, at the Big Starry Coffee Chain. I’m third in line. There’s an older lady at the counter placing her order. In between us is a female college student, maybe 21 or 22. She’s wearing OD green sweat pants with a Marine Corps emblem on the front.

Not wanting to presume and be wrong, I asked, “Are those your sweats?”

She turned and smiled, shaking her head, “No, they are my boyfriend’s. He’s in town visiting.”

We talk a bit, waiting our turn. Her boyfriend had been to Iraq twice, was on alert for something in Africa. I told her my son was in Afghanistan, that I had once worn the uniform.

The lady at the front of the line finished paying and turned to leave. She stopped, looked at the student and said, “When you see him, you tell your boyfriend we are so grateful for his service, that it means so much that he volunteered and he’s doing what he can to keep us all safe. Tell him for me.”

Then she walked away. I don’t know who she was, or whether she had family that had served, all I know is she seized the moment. It was perfect. The whole thing was a (random) act of patriotism.

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
–Mark Twain

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4 thoughts on “In The Line At The Coffee Shop

  1. I'm sure that if or when the girlfriend told her boyfriend about that he was touched.

    I know that when I randomly thank someone in uniform for their service whether they are military or local police, fire or EMT, they never fail to get this 'humbled' (for lack of a better term) on their face and are glad to know that they are appreciated.

  2. Definitely appreciate their efforts in an unappreciated country. My Honey is always on the lookout for uniforms, goes out of her way to tell them how proud she is of them, and I love her for it.

  3. My wife has a “My Son is a US Marine” sticker on the back window of her car and she gets comments all the time. She even had a note with a $5.00 bill with it, the note said “Thank your Son for me and buy him a drink for me.” We still have that bill and when he returned from the AF we bought him a whole lot to drink.

    BT: Jimmy T sends.

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