Sunday, April 25, 2010


I stopped to get a cup of coffee on the way to work the other day. A well mannered kid (18-20) who was also getting coffee said "Good morning, Sir." As I absentmindedly looked for a pastry to go with my java we bumped into each other. "Sorry, sir", he said.

We got in line at the same time, he just a step ahead of me. "Would you like to go ahead, sir?" he asked.

"That's okay, son", I said. "You're fresh out of boot camp, aren't you?" I asked.

"Yes, sir. Does the haircut give me away?"

"No, it's the 'sir', I don't get called that very much. Do you like it?"

"I love it, sir. I go to Fort Campbell on Monday and this summer I'm going to Afghanistan." I suddenly got a huge lump in my throat.

I offered my hand, he shook it firmly, "Thank you", I said.

"No problem, sir", he replied. "Some folks don't think we should be over there, but..."

"The politics of it don't matter to me", I interrupted. "You're doing a job for us and we appreciate it."

"Glad to do it, sir."

He made his purchase, and as he was leaving turned and said "Have a good day, sir."

"You do the same. Be safe over there."

"I will, sir."

As I cashed out I noticed the clerks eyes were wet. So were mine.