He Saw An Old Man Struggle To Pay For Food With Change.
A couple of weeks ago the wife and I were standing in line at a Sun City Arby’s for a quick bite. The line was eight deep when I noticed a old man with the name “Marines” on the back of his baseball cap. He and his “wife” were searching their pockets for change, having decided on getting the $6.00 Special of two fish sandwiches. As they stepped up to place their order, the old man his shaking hands holding little more than $6.00 in change, I excused myself in front of the waiting customers ahead of me to get to the counter. I heard several folks grumble about me cutting in front of them as I made my way to the cashier, but my wife, who had stayed in place, quietly said, just watch. The old man had placed his order of the fish sandwiches and for two water cups. He put his change on the counter and was about to push it to the cashier, when I put my hand on his shoulder and said “Semper Fi Marine”, Thank You For Your Service this is on me.
I gave the cashier a twenty dollar bill, and said let’s start over. Immediately turning to look me in the eye, he responded with “Do or Die”! I helped him finish his order with milkshakes, fries, and a couple of turnovers for dessert. Both had teary eyes as they made their way to a table, and surprisingly so did most of the people I’d cut in front of getting to the counter. Except for the two big bikers who were directly in front of us. They claimed it was allergies that made their eyes leak. We finally received our order and headed to the dining area where we saw that the old couple had made room for us at their table. What had started out as a quick evening meal, ended up being an hour and a half long dinner engagement. I learned that he had slugged it out on both Saipan and later on Iwo Jima as a 19 year old, with Purple Hearts from both actions. For me, some days just don’t get better than this.