I Gave Her The Cash

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.

Semper Fi,
JB, 2289879

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10 comments


  • George Stickman

    A couple of years ago I noticed an elderly gent at a table wearing an IWO Jima cover. I ask the waitress to give me his check. I watched as the waitress told him his meal was taken care of and he then ordered a big bowl of ice cream. Best dessert I ever had.


  • Doc

    Back in ’90, I worked for a hospital consulting firm and flew a lot. My oldest son had just transferred from Camp David and, with Desert Shield, had arrived in SA. Whenever I had a layover and went for a drink if there were Marines in the lounge I would instruct the waitress that while I was there their tab was mine. One time there was a mixed table (Marines slumming with couple of Army), should have the smile from the Marines and bewildered looks from Army.


  • R Wagner

    My wife and I have done this, it is the greatest feeling to be able to be able to do that.


  • Matt

    I was in San Diego airport after welcoming my Marine son home from Afghanistan. Saw some freshly minted Marines buying pogie bait and paid for them. Something got in my eye then..


  • Dan Hogan

    I am sure he will. I remember in spring 1968 when I was home in Chicago wearing my greens. Stopped into a Mc Donalds and a lady behind me said “you must be in the air wing”. I was an airedale but asked her what made her say that? She replied “My son is an air wing Marine and his uniform looks like yours”. I told her pretty much all Marine uniforms are the same. She offered to buy me lunch, I declined but she insisted. To be a fair to middlin’ Marine said ok. She said “I hope someone does this for my son”. I REMEMBER Hoggie 2150124


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