Last Saturday, my husband Les and I took a motorcycle ride from our home in Montrose to the C&J Restaurant in Delta for lunch.
We met up with five friends of ours from Grand Junction, all who ride with Patriot Guard Riders -- those who protect the honor of our fallen servicemen and women. Most of our group are mission riders with Run For The Wall, an organization of thousands of riders who each May ride across America from Ontario, Calif., to Washington, D.C., to bring attention to veterans' and active-duty military issues, including MIA/POW.
We were seated in the center of the restaurant at a big table, and at the table next to us there was a young couple with two children and a couple of other adults, maybe other family members. The kids were darling and as they were leaving one of our riders handed the little girl -- maybe about four years old -- a string of beads he makes with the colors of the Patriot Guard. She was delighted and it showed.
The family left and we continued to enjoy our delicious meal, and we visited a little with our charming waitress. She shared with us a very personal story of loss of a family member serving in the Marines. I promised her I would carry him in my heart across America in May and honor him in Washington, D.C., at the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Many of our older veterans have opened their memorial for the memorializing of those fallen in all recent years and RFTW (rftw.org) is touched by all sacrifices of our servicemen and women and their families. For them there is no government test of wartime or peacetime. They just seek to remember and honor.
When we asked for our check, our waitress told us the young man with the family had paid for our lunch and that he said, "Thank you for your service," as he and his family left the restaurant. We felt honored and blessed and so welcome in the community of Delta.
My husband said, "This is so different from when we came home." Truly, these old veterans just hope our young vets are treated differently than they were. This young man showed that there are those in this generation grateful for the sacrifices of those who went before and who are serving now. Maybe he served as a younger man -- maybe he just knows.
God bless and thank him.