Memorial Day weekend I was with some friends in Palm Springs, CA. The ladies were drinking their wine and when one bottle was empty, one of the ladies said,” Another dead soldier.” I was quick to politely inform her of her poor choice of words. Especially given the meaning of the day.
Later, at dinner in a great barbeque restaurant, I noticed a young Marine in a red Marine Air T-shirt. He appeared to be waiting for his wife or girlfriend to return from the head. They were probably in from 29 Palms for a night out. I went to the hostess station, described the Marine and told her to be sure I got their dinner bill. She said she would take care of it. Shortly after we finished and paid for our meal, the Marine’s waitress brought me his check. I gave her the cash and told her to simply say an old Marine took care of his bill. Also to be sure we had already left the restaurant. The lady mentioned earlier (with the poor choice of words) asked what I had done. When I told her, she started to cry, saying it was the nicest gesture she had seen in a long time. I told her that was how we train the young ones.
Twenty years ago, h*ll ten years ago, I couldn’t afford to do such a thing. However, some day in the future that young Marine may remember his “free dinner” and do the same thing for another young Marine.