Day 11: Purchase groceries for a Veteran.
Today, we went to the commissary. We needed a few things but our main goal was to scan the isles in search for a retired veteran. Not that other service members wouldn't suffice but usually retiree's are on a very limited budget, more so than enlisted.
We spotted an older gentleman sitting on a bench with a basket full of groceries down at his feet and a few scattered next to him . His wife wandering the isles looking for other things to add to the already loaded down cart.
I approached the wife first to ask if either of them were prior service. She nodded with a smile. I guess I should have asked "Halba Ingles?" first because that was the extent of our conversation. :)
So I went back to Dale and asked him how we should proceed.
So, we shot up a quick prayer, walked over to the man and I said "Halba Ingles?" which he replied in an accented "Yes."
I asked if he was a Veteran and he explained that he had just retired four years ago.
Yay- victory numero uno..
Yes, I took Spanish in High School.
Yes, I am still speaking with a VERY primary vocabulary..
I explained that my husband and I were trying to teach our boys to give back and that we would like to purchase his groceries to show our appreciation. It was a way for our family to honor him for his time and sacrifice to our country. He shook our hand, His eyes watered up and with all the boys surrounded, he told a bit of his story.
He was retired from the United States Army.
He served one tour in Iraq, and was thankful he came home in one piece.
He had joined young to provide for his family.
He is a native Puerto Rican.
He was grateful for the 26 years of serving.
He was thankful to God for all that he had.
His name was Carlos.
His wife came back and he explained in Spanish that we were thanking him for his service. And with that, they both smiled, he again thanked us, got up from the bench and they started to walk away.
Some how I think us paying for his groceries to show our appreciation got lost in translation. So Dale explained once again what we wanted to do. Carlo's eyes watered. My eyes watered. His wife shook her head in disbelief and whispered "no, no, no!"
We insisted. They finally agreed.
God Bless Carlos..
God Bless ALL the Veterans.