Thank a Vet

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy

I am unsure where the story came from, but as a veteran myself (21 years Navy), I love the story and the sentiment behind it.  It is not my own, but I love positive stories of the men and women who have served my country and this is really a great one.

The rest of this is the story that is written as I received it.ann m

it’s a story about one of the soldiers in this picture with Ann Margaret and what happened years later when he met her. It will take you about one minute to read it. Here’s the rest of the post:

Richard, (my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Vietnam, other than a sniper had shot him.

However, he had a slightly grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures.

A few years ago, Ann Margaret was doing a book signing at a local bookstore.

Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo, so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o’clock for the 7:30 signing.

When I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore, circled the parking lot, and disappeared behind a parking garage.

Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted.

Richard was disappointed but wanted to show her the photo and let her know how much those shows meant to lonely GI’s so far from home.

Ann Margaret came out looking as beautiful as ever, and, as second in line, it was soon Richard’s turn.

He presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo.

When he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not sign it. Richard said, “I understand. I just wanted her to see it.”

She took one look at the photo, tears welled up in her eyes, and she said, “This is one of my gentlemen from Vietnam, and I most certainly will sign his photo.

I know what these men did for their country, and I always have time for ‘my gentlemen.”

With that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on him.

She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young men she met over the years, how much she admired them, and how much she appreciated them.

There weren’t too many dry eyes among those close enough to hear.

She then posed for pictures and acted as if he were the only one there.

That night was a turning point for him. He walked a little straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet.

I’ll never forget Ann Margaret for her graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant to my husband.

Later at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he’d like to talk about it, my big, strong husband broke down in tears, “That’s the first time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army,” he said.

I now make it a point to say ‘Thank you’ to every person I come across who served in our Armed Forces.

Freedom does not come cheap, and I am grateful for all those who have served their country.

If you’d like to pass on this story, feel free to do so.

Perhaps it will help others to become aware of how important it is to acknowledge the contribution our service people make.

— Wife of Vietnam War Veteran.

Sandy- My ducks are in a Row – Finally

I’m not going to premise this topic with too many details, but a slight history is the only way you might understand what I am about to say.  Let’s just say I’ve had a multitude of careers in my life.  (legal field, teaching, carpentry, plumbing, meat department, flag-waving, flower sales, vacuum cleaner sales, police work, life-student, ponderer, cheer-leader, volunteer…and I am positive there are a few things I have missed and yes, I realize not all of these are legitimate occupations).  As you might recall from my past post Freakn Thru, even I am not sure how I ended up in most of these jobs.   Now I am in a different job which is VERY different..

Going back in time…..(imagine dreamy music followed by a dizzying blend of backwards movement)

My last boss, for some unknown reason, gave everyone in the office a duck for every holiday.  So everyone pretty much had every holiday duck imaginable.  I really had only been under this boss’s supervision long enough to collect about 3 seasons of ducks.

Well, two weeks ago I noticed a strange phenomena on my desk…Notice there are 4 ducks not 3.

I didn’t give it much thought.  I mean who would.  Especially due to the turned reindeer duck.. hmmm.. interesting.

About a week ago, I noticed a change.  There was a slight increase in the number of ducks.  I asked around and no one could really explain to me what was happening.

Suddenly I remembered an incident from about a year ago when there had apparently been a duck-napping.  The alarm had been sounded, people were up in arms, angry notes were passed back and forth requesting the release of the napped ducks.  One eventually turned up with a missing head but for the most part they were never recovered.  Could there be a connection? Refer to duck-napping story..

The Universe

Police Beat 11/28/11: Ducknapping


Nov. 20: A female reported seeing two individuals feeding ducks while standing very close to the water. One approached and grabbed a duck while the other recorded the event on his cell phone. They put the duck in a bag and ran to an older model pickup truck and drove west down 800 North.

Then a few days ago..

What the freak is going on?  I have no answers at this point… Which is not that uncommon in my life… then it hit me..

Back to the present.. (dreamy music again — only — fade forward)

I sat there pondering the multitude of jobs I have had in the past and it dawned on me, there was one job in particular that I will never forget and that is largely due to my life mentor (Yes Sandy that would be you) who was always prepared to give me sage advice, a little chastisement and occasionally a long, sad eye-roll followed by the statement, “Sam, you really need to get your ducks in a row!”

It all came together this morning when I entered the office and saw this..

Is it possible?  Could it be?  Can I make that phone call I’ve been waiting forever to make and say those words I’ve been waiting to say, “Sandy – My ducks are in a row – Finally!!!

Thank you Sandy –

Pope Sandy Duck

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And the winner is…

 When you choose to be pleasant and positive in the way you treat others, you’ve also chosen, in most cases, how you are going to be treated by others.  ˜Justice Cabral

I’d first like to say I started blogging only for my family and a few close friends who have been a special part of my life.  I wanted to go back and relive some of my recent highlights and share some of my upcoming travels and experiences.

Further, I was trying to find an outlet just to “talk” without opening my mouth.  I had a professor once who said, “Sam, you are a diamond in the rough.  You need to find an outlet for your… uh..well.. “creative” way of expressing yourself.” I realized later he was probably politely telling me to shut it.. ha.  My current boss has had to tell me a few times to “focus” think about what I want to say before saying it and I will go farther in my life/career than I might imagine.   I’ve been working on my communication skills more than anyone could imagine.  This has been a great outlet for this task and I’ve been enjoying it immensely.  Not just as a way to share a part of my life through pictures but to express my opinion, spout random thoughts and grow in my ability to communicate in many forms. It’s also taken an edge off of my over-active brain.

It has turned into something a little more than that. I have been able to peruse the world of blogging and bloggers which has given me the opportunity to share thoughts that are non-work related, view amazing photography and just laugh at some of the randomness that is out there.  It’s been AWESOME.

It’s also been pretty cool to have so many people visit me here and comment and encourage my whims and often-times skewed view of the world and my life in general.  One of the things I have tried to do all of my life is thank the people who have helped, encouraged or in any way what-so-ever changed my perspective on a subject and opened my eyes to new and interesting things.  I have alluded to this same thing in a past blog and only want to expand on it here.

Pat from I Miss Me, Too nominated me for a couple different awards “Very Inspiring” and “and I appreciate this and I appreciate Pat for being such a great confidence builder.  She talks about life changes and slowing down.  She’s an awesome person.

Diane of Grandmother Musings nominated me for an award as well “Super Sweet”, this was awesome because 1, it’s nice to get recognized and 2, all her compliments seem to be genuine and so knowing that someone appreciates you, truly appreciates you just feels good.  She always has something nice to say and her blog has some special insights, words of wisdom and tips on how to do quite a few things.

I would love to express my thanks and appreciation to Daniela for nominating me for this writing award..  I love this one as my life is about sisterhood.. (2 sisters, 2 daughters, mostly female cousins and tons of girlfriends around the world.)  I appreciate the the visits and continuing comments.

CatKay from Fun and more by Kay, also just nominated me for the supersweet writing award.  Also a supportive reader and interesting blogger so I appreciate the attention.

I do feel like I’m forgetting someone but that’s what you get for procrastinating with these types of thank you’s.  Shame on me.  I was trying to figure out how I could thank people and yet not get sucked into the whole hole of “slug-bug” “pass-it-on” thingy.  Ironically I happened across This n That’s response to awards and more awards and loved his response.. so with that I will end my rant but just saying a big giant thank you to all of the prior nominations and any future nominations.  When I say future… I mean way, way, way into the future until I stop blogging future.. I do appreciate readers and love the kind thoughts that have been expressed by people reading my “voice”.

In a previous post, A photo that,  I mentioned some of my favorites and alluded that I would be mentioning others as time went on.  Those favorites still stand, however so many more are on that list for a variety of reasons.  My initial list included:

Emma’s Life UnravelI Miss Me TooUtesmileTahiras,  Beyond PaisleyWhere’s my BackpackGrandmother’s MusingsSued 51  

and I would now add, for being very interactive and having a conversational tone, for beautiful photography and interesting travel stories, for inspirational ideas, for being quirky, funny and always egging me on with great comments, for being an accidental photography hobbiest with amazing photography and inspirational posts with a truly touchable reason for starting to blog, for refreshing originality and a easy to read blogging style, for frequently beautiful posts, for all things girls love and having 2 girls makes it easy for me to connect, for thought-provoking blogs; for quirkiness and humor, for interesting imagery and stories that are fun to read.

I could seriously go on.. but really, as stated previously, I read blogs and are attracted to blogs that are quirky, fun, intelligent and help give me insights to my own life as well as to others.  For this I thank all of my visitors and anticipate meeting more, reading more, seeing more and experiencing more of all of you from around the world.  It’s been an amazing experience.  Thanks to all.