Top 10 Nice Thing List
After being home for four months now, I think I am in a good position to analyze this country’s feelings toward soldiers. It seems as if everybody in the states has a “Support the Troops” bumper sticker and anybody will say they have a lot of respect for servicemen. This is fine and dandy, but I have this saying… “put your money where your sticker is.” I’m not saying you have to donate money to support soldiers, but there are a lot of people out there who give fake support. Let’s take these corporations that are saying a “percent” of their profit goes to support soldiers for example, or corp. that uses soldiers in advertisements. In reality, these marketing managers could care less about soldiers and their families. What they see is an opportunity. If supporting troops were not popular amongst Americans, do you think Boston Store would promote sending phone cards to soldiers? In the Vietnam Era when, sadly, supporting troops wasn’t cool, do you think companies would stage a pro-soldier commercial? No. In other words, it’s all about making a little money and there are a slew of corporations right now who are fattening their pocket books by using soldiers as marketing symbols.
With that being said, there are tons and tons of good U.S. citizens who “put their money where their sticker is” and there are tons and tons of U.S. companies who support soldiers not thru words and million-dollar ad campaigns, but deeds. Just based off of my experiences, here’s a top 10 list of nice things that businesses and people have done for me since I’ve been home.
10. A reader from this site sent me an email that put me in tears. A girl from Pennsylvania really touched me on a day that I needed the support. I’ve received thousands of emails, but this one was different. It was five pages long and filled with very touching words.
9. Olive Garden would not let me or another soldier pay for our dinner. The manager said: “It’s our store policy that we pick up the ticket on any meal eaten by a soldier.” I wasn’t even in uniform. So how did he know? The hair I guess.
8. Every Sunday, the Milwaukee Brewers give free tickets to service members and retired soldiers. I love baseball and you better believe that I take advantage of this benefit. Every time I get my ticket, the person in the ticket window looks me in the eye and very sincerely says, “Thank you for your service.”
7. The YMCA gives a free gym membership to any returning soldier. All you have to do is show them your orders and you’re in the gym for free. This is a $1,000 yearly value.
6. My first week back, I tried to check in at a Holiday Inn and they wouldn’t let me pay. I asked if I could get a military discount and the really nice lady said, “you sure can, honey, now put your wallet away.”
5. I was having dinner with a friend in Minnesota when she unexpectedly told the waitress I just returned from Iraq. They sang a song for me, which was actually kind of embarrassing. Then, an old man walked up to me, grabbed the ticket and said Thank you. He was a WWII vet.
4. A friend threw me a surprise party, inviting friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time. It was a great time.
3. A Nissan Dealership waved $400 worth of repairs on my vehicle and purchased me a car rental, just because I was a veteran.
2. I bought a $1,000 dollar Italian suit for $350, just because I was wearing an Army sweatshirt and my haircut. I didn’t ask for any type of discount; I think the store owner was a Vietnam vet. I told the cashier that there must be a mistake. “Nope. You get a special discount, soldier.”
1. The countless sincere thank you’s I’ve received from people I don’t even know. Those two words when genuinely spoken can mean the world to a vet.