Letters to the Editor

A grateful stranger

To the Editor:

My husband had a heartwarming experience the day after Veteran’s Day. My husband and I are both service-connected disabled veterans. Having this in common, we deeply understand each others’ burdens. When something touching happens to one of us, it means twice as much to both of us.

My husband was buying groceries and realized at checkout that he did not have enough to pay for everything. He had to put the coffee creamer back. The cashier was very nice about it and said, “Don’t worry, it happens to everyone.”

The young man who was next in line must have been close enough to overhear. He was maybe in his 20s and had nothing defining about him, except for the sweatshirt he was wearing. He stepped up, “I’ll pay for it.” My husband politely refused at first, then after the stranger insisted, he swallowed his pride and accepted the help. Though reluctant to receive it, my husband was grateful for the few dollars. Then, as the stranger shook hands with my husband, he said “Thank you for your service.” My husband realized he was wearing his army field jacket and this was, of course, how the stranger was able to tell he was a veteran.

Please know that these wonderful heartfelt things mean a lot to veterans. My husband was touched. The story of this helpful, grateful stranger was the first thing out of his mouth when he came home. I cried. Other vets and their families will understand why. Thank you to everyone who has ever been appreciative in any way to a veteran or their family.

Helena Garrett

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