His Second Thank You

I met a young man today.

I was told he had just signed up for the military.

I said ‘thank you!’    He smiled and said “that’s my second thank you!”

I asked why he had signed up.  He sat up from his reclined position and looked at me sincerely and said “I believe in our country.”   He went on to tell me about his plans.  He has fabulous plans.  I told him I admired that he knew at such a young age what he wanted to do in life.  Though his plans were about what ‘he’ was going to do, his plans weren’t just about him.  They were about the things he would be doing to serve his country, long after he left the military.  He wants his military experience, to prepare him, to serve.

I couldn’t help but look at him when he talked to me.  So openly.  So passionately.  So youthfully.

He didn’t give me reasons for wanting to serve or for loving the country he lives in.  It was refreshing to hear someone who didn’t feel a need to validate his feelings and beliefs.

I left, smiling.  With a sense of relief.

And hope.