We band of brothers

Each Veteran Day, I try to do something different to mark the occasion. In 2013, I vowed to eat my three meals at restaurants offering free chow to Veterans. I succeeded even though it meant eating dinner at 9:00 p.m. Thank you Bob Evans, Applebee’s and Texas Roadhouse for what you do.

The gal at Applebee’s entrance asked me if I mind sitting at their “community table” for Veterans.  I was led to a large C shaped table. I  recognized an old friend, Jess Davies who was just leaving.  It took no time for the two remaining Veterans and me to slip comfortably into conversations. Within minutes, we were joined by three new guys. The easy conversation just kicked up a notch.

It is noteworthy to watch how effortlessly Veterans converse. We may not have common experiences or may not even like each other. The easy conversations seem to come with the acceptance of each other without reservations. Wives of Veterans will tell you their husbands can talk with other Veterans in a way they won’t with them or others. When we consider how populated the American Veteran community is, it is remarkable such a number of folks can get along so well.

Do we argue? Oh yeah we do. Branch on branch teasing is rampant. The Army, Air Force and Navy poke fun at each other. The Navy and Coast Guard talk loud about the other, and the four of us gang up on the Marines. Their Achilles heal is they are so serious.

In the end, Veterans get along in the way all Americans should.


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