And I Thank This Veteran

I have met many a veteran.

Often times the way I meet them,  I’m sitting across from them in their home.

They are now ‘old’ by some people’s standards.

And I’m talking to them because I am investigating an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

I ask if they are a veteran.

Yes.

Often times I get to see a picture, or twenty, of them in uniform.  Getting married.  Raising their family.  I see them strong.  Young.  Powerful.

I see them as guardians and protectors.

And I see them, wondering who, is now guarding and protecting them.

And I have this everlasting vision of them.  This older man.  With his younger self trapped within.

And I thank this veteran.

And more times than not they quietly say “you’re welcome”.  Many say “the ones to thank are the ones who didn’t return”.  A few, cry.

I have met many a veteran.  Way too many of them, in this manner.

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24 thoughts on “And I Thank This Veteran

  1. Yes, I can imagine how sad it is when you see a Veteran in the condition they are in. I think it is wonderful that you thank them.

  2. reocochran says:

    Thanks for honoring those who served our country, however they served, tomorrow for Veterans Day, Colleen.
    As a nursing home activities director, I arranged 5 Vets Day celebrations. I invited the Color Guard from the high school ROTC and the VFW to share their tributes. My tears ran down my cheeks, they are starting now again, when someone suggested taking a bell the first ceremony. Then ringing it, saying each Veteran’s name out loud, their rank and military division. Families loved this somber part of the ceremony. A black man named Charles captured my little 8 year old daughter’s heart. From the moment she met him she held his hand and hugged this very gentle, quiet man. His head hung down and sometimes drool would be dribbling. He would talk about music, jazz and scat and baseball, Jackie Robinson; but never war. Felicia got him to tell her what growing up in the South was like for one of her projects 5 years later, while 13 and in high school.
    When Charles’ name was my pleasure to call out, his head would lift and his shoulders pulled back and he was once again- young and brave.

    • I adore Felicia. Isn’t it ‘funny’ how we connect with someone. We don’t even necessarily know the reasons. Just whatever it is about us that ‘connects’ with another.

      Thank you for your compassion and love Robin. You made a difference. Still do. In people’s lives.

  3. niaaeryn says:

    Now that is something I feel should Congress should focus on. My grandfather needed a Congressman to help him…why should it ever resort to that in the first place? I am grateful to the representative, but it should never have been a struggle from the start.

  4. Gibber says:

    I thank them too.

  5. russtowne says:

    I’m so glad they have you to protect them, Colleen. Thank you for protecting those who protected us.

    • There’s a very large community of persons trying to help Russ. The sad part is, there is a larger community of veterans needing the help. I’m only a small cog. But lots of little cogs sure can make things happen. 🙂

  6. ksbeth says:

    yes and that is probably always incredibly sad and touching

  7. Ocean Bream says:

    This made me well up a little. ❤

  8. The ones to thank are the ones who didn’t return…such a powerful sentence. Bless you for your words and those who fought for our freedom. ❤️

  9. Mustang.Koji says:

    That is a chilling aspect of your good work, Chatter Master… And will always remember the honor and respect you showed “our one particular WWII veteran”. He is being well cared for now…

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