Thursday, July 16, 2009

No Whining Allowed

My live-in handyman is retired from the military. As such, we have access to on-base amenitites. The other day, I was in the commissary - for non-military types, the commissary is the on-base food market.

The store wasn't particularly crowded. One of the shoppers was a man and his two kids - a boy and a girl - both in their early teens. The three of them laughed and carried on just the same as a civilian family in the local supermarket. The kids wanted Product X, but the dad told them they already had Product Y. They didn't give him any mouth, but his daughter did give him 'the look.'

We all know 'the look.'

We were around the dairy and frozen food sections. It was a little cooler there, and a lot of shoppers lingered over selections. It's hotter than a blast furnace here in San Antonio - temps over 100 for several hours each afternoon - and has been for a month or more. People wear the least amount of clothing they can get by with and not be arrested for indecent exposure. Everyone I saw wore shorts.

This family was no exception.

The dad walked over to fetch milk. And that's when I noticed.

He walked on two prosthetic legs.

Had he worn jeans, I wouldn't have known.

Not by his gait, any of his mannerisms. Not by a hanging of his head because he felt sorry for himself or any embarrassment. Nothing. This was a normal dad going about the business of providing food for his family, who obviously loved him.

A man who had, literally, given part of himself for his country.

The next time you think you can't do something or you think life is unfair to you or you think you have it too hard . . . remember this man.

He got up. He fought back. He got on with his life and played the hand that was dealt him.

You can, too.

Let him be your inspiration.

2 comments:

Sylvia said...

Aye, Aye, Maam! My husband served 4 years in the Navy. 2 brothers in Army, took one a number of years to partially overcome the mental injuries Viet Nam did to him. Thank God for whoever in the VA medical system finally got to him.

Carol Kilgore said...

Military families live around the world. It's not just a military dad. There are lots of military moms out there and military mom and dad families, too. The military family is important. Please don't forget to support them all in any way you can.