As a military wife, we all have those moments that make us bury our face in our hands to hide the tears. From seeing a uniformed man at the bank or a "Support our troops" magnet on the vehicle in front of us. Last night was one of those moments for me.
Doc Handsome, Mini Doc Handsome, and myself were at the Exchange buying a few things for a trip out of town this weekend. As we left the store, the parking lot held a handful of people, rushing out as they locked the doors behind us. It was dusk and the sun was setting. Evening taps (evening colors) started playing over the speakers on base. Like we all should, out of respect for the fallen and missing servicemembers, we stopped and faced towards the flag until taps ended. I was appalled by the number of people who didn't stop. As we stood there, I couldn't help but think what is wrong with some people. You're on a freaking military base and you can't stop for two minutes?!
Colors ended and we walked to our truck. In front of our car was a man who watched us as we unloaded our shopping cart. I smiled and continued unloading and putting the baby into his carseat. We jumped into the truck when I realized the man in front of us had his shopping bags in one of those machine powered carts the stores provide for those with a disability. He was balancing one hand on a cane and the other, trying to unload his groceries. I nudged Doc Handsome to look, and he hopped out immediately. I watched Doc Handsome help this man load his bags into the car while they held a discussion. Doc Handsome returned to the car a few minutes later with a handful of expensive beauty products. "He wants me to give these to you. I couldn't tell him no. He was persistente" I took them from his hands and as both of us looked back to wave one more time before driving off, this stranger stood right into attention stance and saluted my husband.
My hands went right to my mouth in a gasp of, "Oh my gosh...." My heart just stopped. He was a disabled veteran. Had to be. He was on base by himself. And the way he saluted, only a military member could do it that well!
We drove the few miles home and I asked Doc Handsome what they talked about. He told me the man thanked him for helping and that he can't remember the last time anyone had offered to do so. All Doc Handsome said to him in return was, "That's a shame sir."