Welcome Home, Soldier!

I recently had breakfast at a pancake house near where I live. As I pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, I noticed a car with a “Vietnam Veteran” license plate (a type of vanity plate that can be purchased for a special fee in Illinois).  I looked inside the car, and there sat an older black man, probably around my age, with a snow white beard, and reading a book.  I got out of my car, and went over to the window of his car, pointing at the U.S. Army  “Vietnam Veteran” baseball cap that I wear sometimes.  (The cap has my lieutenant’s silver bar, and two hat pin replicas of my Bronze Star Medals attached to it).  I think that I startled him.  But, when he saw me pointing to my cap, he smiled broadly and gave me a “thumbs up”.

As I was eating breakfast, I saw this gentleman come into the restaurant and sit down at a booth near me. He ordered breakfast, and continued reading his book. When I finished my meal, I went over to where he was sitting, and extended my hand, saying, “Welcome home, soldier!” He looked up at me and whispered in a soft voice, “Welcome home, lieutenant.”

It was just two old soldiers welcoming each other home from that terrible war so long ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *