The Colonel stopped at WalMart for milk on his way home from his night shift. He was in uniform - his fatigues. He does not like to draw attention to himself and usually changes into his uniform once at his duty station. He travels to and from in civilian clothes. However, at 5:30 in the morning after a week of mids, he just wanted to run this quick errand and get home. He stood in front of the bank of refrigerators looking for the 1% milk and felt someone staring at him.
"I just wanted to say thanks," the man at WalMart said.
The Colonel smiled at him, "Thank you."
It was the first thing he told me about that morning before climbing into bed. When you thank a soldier, it does matter. They don't do it for appreciation, but your appreciation speaks to their commitment.
He arrived home at 6:30 this morning, just in time to grab our middle son and run him out to the swim meet. The Colonel finished his last night shift and was still in his fatigues. He arrived at the pool just in time for warm-ups, intending to drop-off our son, come home to shower/change, and head back out. The moment he stepped onto the pool deck, he could feel the spotlight on him. When I showed up at the meet later on, everyone who'd seen him earlier said, "I saw your man in uniform this morning." I smiled proudly.
He looks so impressive in his uniform. He has presence, authority - commanding respect and attention. One of my friends said, "He looks three times bigger in his uniform - it's the hat, the boots ...." she went on. I nodded. He does. He's amazingly large in stature when he's decked out in his battle dress. I love a man in uniform ... actually, I love my man in uniform :)
I encourage you to thank a soldier this weekend as we celebrate our country!