My husband Gary and I recently took a motorcycle ride to Red Lobster in Lima. We were enjoying our meal when a man we didn’t know thanked Gary for his service. We thanked him for his kindness and finished our meal. During the time we were there three or more others came and said the same.
You see Gary had his Harley vest on which says Air Force Veteran on the back and his retired Air Force Veteran hat. He is extremely proud to have served his country for 22 years. When we were ready for the bill, our waitress said, “You do not have a bill, it has been taken care of.” We both were without words. I asked, “Was it the first man who came and spoke to us?” Her response was, “Yes, but he wouldn’t want you to know, he just wanted to do it”.
I felt tears in my eyes and Gary’s heart filled with pride in his country and the people who we are fortunate to live around. He served all those years under many different presidents from both political parties. We never took sides in our family: the Commander and Chief deserved respect no matter which party he represented.
The negativity that people thrive on is beyond my comprehension. We have the honor of flying our flags in our front yards, saying the Pledge to our beloved flag, and singing the anthem with hands on our hearts.
We do not know the circumstances of the people who thanked Gary, but we do know they are true patriots.
Gary and Debbie McElroy, Wapakoneta