I wrote this story many moons ago…but I like to share it occasionally as a reminder.
Every year my family dresses up using a theme for our costumes. For example, the first year we dressed up (2005) we did the "traditional" Halloween stuff. I was a witch (no comments on that please). Paul was a vampire. Shayne was a cat. Stormy was a spider. Connor--an adorable bat at 3 months of age! The year after that we did Peter Pan. The year after that we did pirates. Last year we did Wizard of Oz. This year was going to be heroes. So I asked Connor what he wanted to be...
And then I asked Stormy.
"Stormy-what hero do you want to be for Halloween?"
"An army soldier. Because they are heroes."
I couldn't be more proud of my kid.
Fast forward a couple of days. We are driving and we stop at a red-light.
"Momma-look an army soldier is next to us!!!" Stormy exclaims.
I tell her to ask him if he is. She's too shy so I ask...
"My daughter wants to know if you are a soldier..."
He looks over and smiles at Stormy and says,
"Yes I am."
"Stormy-what do we say?"
"Thank you for all you do" she tells him.
I then very quickly tell him about how she picked a soldier as her hero...
"Where you headed?"
"I am going to the park to do a quick photo-shoot."
"Pull over there real fast. I have something I'll give your daughter that's Army," he says.
So we pull into a parking lot. He gets to the back of his SUV and pulls out a small locker. He gets out a hat and hands it to Stormy.
"Here you go. That spent a year over-seas in Iraq."
"Stormy Maureen-give him a hug and tell him thank you for the hat and everything else he has done for us" I tell her.
She gives him a hug. And so do I.
I think his shirt said RUEGGER. I can't be sure. It was fast. I want to say Thank you. For everything you do everyday for our country. Thank you for making my daughter's point perfectly clear for those in doubt. You are a hero. I couldn't be more proud.
Yes. We still have that hat. It’s a hero hat after all.
Today I was at a carwash, cleaning out the car and I noticed a truck in a bay with Veteran tags on it. I got Sage out and told her what to ask.
“Are you a Veteran?”
He replied with, “Yes I am. 34 years of service.”
“What do we say Sage?”
“Thank you for your service.”
He smiled a huge smile at my kid and I and told us thank you.
Thank you hardly says enough though. Thank you for being braver than I could ever be. Thank you for being more selfless than I could ever be. Thank you for giving me the rights that I have. Thank you…
Two words but so much more.
Thank you Veterans. From this Mom of a crew.