Originally Published: July 21, 2010 10:14 p.m.
On Saturday, July 3, my LGOP's (Little Group Of Paratroopers) and I participated in the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade, winning the first-place trophy for the Fraternal/Church/Non-Profit category. It was a good day.
After the parade, six of us, in uniform, decided to repair to the Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Prescott Valley for brunch, coffee, lunch and some friendly conversation. We are all friends, after all - members of the Northern Arizona All Airborne Chapter, 82nd Airborne Division Association. All former paratroopers, in one war or another, or some of us between wars - kindred spirits who have a mutual understanding and just enjoy being around each other.
As we entered the restaurant, about 11 a.m., we were greeted with handshakes, pats on the back, smiles, and expressions of gratitude for our having served our country. It was nice. We were seated at a large round table, ordered our choices with the waitress, and proceeded to chit-chat.
After a bit, the waitress approached me, with the sales ticket, and told me that our breakfast was paid in full. She handed me the ticket on which was written: "Thank you for your service. Enjoy your meal," or something similar. The amount of the ticket was about $59. I was shocked. I am still shocked.
I asked who paid for it and the waitress replied that "some nice lady" did, but that she was gone now. We couldn't even thank her.
Ma'am, if you read this, please know that we appreciate your kind gesture. That sales ticket will be placed in the main lobby trophy case at the VA hospital where we display our chapter's trophies and memorabilia.
It gives one a very good feeling to know that the time all of us spent in our country's military did not go unnoticed, and that you really are aware of the sacrifices being made today by our service members around the world. They are, indeed, very great sacrifices our young men and women are making. My fellow veterans and I are proud to help bring that awareness to you in our way.
We thank you, ma'am, for your kindness.
Color Guard Commander