Several million ‘Thank you!s’ will be offered to U.S. veterans today, and of course, deservedly so. While my father and his brothers rarely heard it from me, it almost seemed unnecessary—my Dad was in the service, hadn’t everyone’s Dad done that?
Real estate clients are often excited about a sale or purchase that goes smoothly, but also have similar expectations about “that’s how it should go.” That would be a miniature comparison I’m proud to be awarded for my efforts.
I’m actually proudest of the fact Dad had served after having polio as a child, a fearsome disease that frequently took the lives of children in the 1920s and 30s. He was never an ‘iron lung’ invalid, but his left leg was obviously smaller, and he never actually played sports as a result.
I always mention his three brothers served, too: Dad and Harold were Navy guys, Don was Air Force, 19 yr. old Howard was a Marine with two island-hops in the Pacific during WWII. My nephew—Capt. Curt—is a Blackhawk pilot who just passed through Charlotte on the way to Ft. Rucker for six-months training; his wife since June, Stephanie, got her captain’s bars a month ago. I have a cousin whose son was smart enough to be trained on nuclear subs—even more impressive smarts by becoming an interpreter, with expertise in a specific Iraqi dialect.
I learned at a September luncheon for veterans that many of them are articulate as hell about their qualifications-documented job experiences. In discussing that impression vs. ‘trigger pullers’ like Uncle Howard, it turned out I was speaking with a retired Lt. Col. who’d been Rumsfeld’s Chief of Staff. Talk about straight-shooters! Another contact was Dr. Alan Freitag (also retired Lt. Colonel), an Assistant Dean at UNCC Graduate School and a Fulbright Scholar– not something achieved by tons of people. I certainly respect Shaleen Young, an outstanding Woman in local real estate, mother of four and ex-military with a K-bar sharp mind, especially regarding MRS (Military Relocation Specialist) area of her business.
The point is, ‘they’ are all around us daily. While it’s habitual to say, “Thank you for your service,” to veterans, I save my most sincere ideas on that for fire fighters, especially from #14- Cotswold, who gave aid to my father one Christmas season, which provided another Christmas with him as well. After telling that story to Joey Hagar at #11, he said, “‘Thanks’ really does mean something to firemen and first responders, maybe because people we’re meeting are enduring stressful conditions,” and maybe because they just *expect* Joey and his brothers to do their jobs.
Working with fire fighters to advance their collective mission about home-owning part of our American Dream, saying ‘thanks’ means the same dedication to finding *their* homes as they do into saving houses, and possibly important Dads.
It’s not difficult to say ‘thank you’ on a regular basis, now certainly works.
To all the vets, OOO-___, whatever your service variation of rah! is.