• 52°

Thank a veteran

Dear Editor,

I would like to take a moment to stress how important it is to slow down and enjoy life, and also how important it is to thank the ones we love.  We get so busy in our lives that we lose sight of the things that matter most.  I recently lost my only brother to cancer after a very brief battle. The sharing of faith and love is so important and means so much to the ones we love. I want to thank everyone for the prayers and friendship that we received during this difficult time. Don’t let life slip away without telling the ones we love how much they mean to us.

One thing that has really weighed heavy on my mind is something that happened at UAB during this time. My husband (a Vietnam veteran) and I were sitting in the hall way outside Johnny’s ICU room when one of his doctors stopped to talk with us. My husband was wearing a Vietnam veteran cap and the doctor asked if he was indeed a Vietnam veteran. Rod replied that he was. The doctor stretched out her hand and thanked Rod for his service to our country. Rod quickly told the doctor that Johnny was also a Vietnam veteran; in fact, he was a sniper in Vietnam.

The doctor said that when Johnny got better she would come back and thank him also. As she was walking away, she turned around and came back. She said “your hearing is one of the last senses to go” so she would thank him now. The doctor went into Johnny’s room and leaned down to his ear. She whispered, “Thank you for your service to our great country and welcome home.”

Twenty-four hours later my brother was gone.

I am so grateful that the last words that Johnny heard were from a grateful American, thanking him for protecting her freedoms. The loss of my brother has been devastating, but it also reminds me of how important it is to let the people we love know how important they are to us. Please, if you know a veteran, please thank them. These men and women are so often forgotten and neglected. They were willing to give up everything to fight for you. Just take a moment to shake their hand or share a smile. Our veterans are so important. We learn lessons in so many ways.  Please take a moment and count your blessings and tell someone today that you love them. Tomorrow may be too late.

Patsy Stone

Valley Grande