At around 11:30 this morning, CST, I approached a man I spotted in a Starbucks near Chicago as I waited for my iced tea order to be called. His pants and the scarf tied around his head were camouflage. His boots were military-style. I try to thank troops and veterans when I get the chance. But I didn’t want to assume he was military. Anyone can buy and wear camo.
“Are you in the service?” I asked him as he stood at well over six feet tall, adding sweetener or whatever to his beverage.
He looked down at me, seemingly reluctantly. “What was that?” he asked.
“Are you in the service?”
“Not anymore,” he replied as he kept tending to his drink.
“Were you?” I pressed.
“Yes,” he answered, almost as if it was an admission. “I am a Marine.”
“Well,” I said, “thank you for your service, Marine.”
My order was called and I went to the counter to retrieve it. At the same time, the Marine grabbed his drink and walked out to the parking lot.
I didn’t want him to think I was stalking him or anything and considered exiting from the other door but that would seem even more suspicious as my car was parked just outside of the door he used. So, I followed him out the same door I had entered, about five steps behind.
During the short walk to my car as he approached his a few parking slots down, I wondered about this man’s mood. Most soldiers respond to my “Thank you for your service” with “It’s my pleasure, ma’am.” It isn’t that he owed me anything. The opposite is true. But, I felt sad by the exchange.
There seems to be so much anti-police and anti-military sentiment now, courageous members of the very professions that ought to be lauded and respected are being demonized, sometimes by men and women who hold high offices, men and woman who easily spout out and wag fingers but don’t have the guts to fight for the freedom to do so.
Shortly after I returned home, I heard something happened in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I gasped when I heard four Marines had been killed in a possible terror attack at a military recruitment office.
I thought about the Marine at Starbucks. Had he heard something before the news broke? Would it matter if he did or didn’t?
Radical Islamists terrorists have made clear Americans in uniform have targets on their backs. So do their family members. These evil murderers practically spell out their plans publicly but somehow we always seem to be caught off-guard, a few steps behind. Iran chants “Death to America!” and our ‘leaders’ shake hands while giving them permission to do as they please.
Caught in the middle between those who wish to destroy America and the White House are frustrated military generals who keep getting ignored, brave soldiers who aren’t even allowed to carry guns while on-duty, vets who can only watch as the gains for which they sacrificed are squandered by foolish political moves, and others who fear for the futures of their children and grandchildren.
It doesn’t have to be this way. But, elections have consequences – sometimes, deadly.
What do you think? Are those running the country doing enough to protect Americans – soldiers, police, and civilians? What do you think can be done to prevent similar attacks?