Like many Veterans, I am always caught off guard when someone thanks me for my service.
A few months back,I was in my local Walmart grabbing a few things, and was walking down the sauce and dressing aisle, when I happened to pass a young hippie looking couple with their house dress with flip-flop wearing grandmother. As they were about to pass me, the young hippie dude suddenly reached out and grabbed me by my arm, and said, “sir?” I stopped, turned, and clenched my fists thinking, “Welp, shit…gonna have to beat a hippie to death, today.” But, I quickly realized he wasn’t starting a fight. I looked at him and said, “Yeah?” He then reached out his other hand to shake mine, and continued, “I want to thank you for your service, sir.”
1. I’m really funny about shaking hands…germs and shit.
2. I was flummoxed in how the fuck this guy knew I was a Vet!
But, despite my OCD, I’d rather get germs than be rude, so, I shook his hand…I nodded, and said, “It was my honor. Thank you for letting me serve.”
He, the little hippie wife, and their grandmother, moved along down the aisle smiling. While I continued walking the opposite direction down the aisle. The hand he shook was gripped tightly, so I didn’t accidentally touch my face with it. I kept looking back at them as I neared the end, and as soon as I turned the corner and lost site of them I brought my hand out of my pocket, held it i9n the air like a surgeon, and made a mad dash towards the bathroom. I was also still befuddled over how he knew I was a Vet, as I raced toward the bathroom.
Once in the bathroom I began scrubbing my hand with soap and hot water. At some point I glanced up at my reflection in the mirror. My eyes moved to the top of my head where I saw that I was wearing my U.S. Army Veteran hat.
I laughed, shook my head at myself, and thought, “You fucking idiot.” 🖖😂