Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
I’m delighted to share this story from the clever and insightful SFC Keith Hummel, a former student and current friend.
I make it a point to avoid social interactions while in uniform as they always make me uncomfortable. Never knowing exactly what to say, I default to my standby reply “Thank you for your support” as I make an ever faster dash for my vehicle. To be sure, I appreciate the intent; but, of many reasons, it feels pretentious to accept praise for being one of the millions of first responders and civil servants who volunteer to serve.
So, when I stopped in Arkansas – roughly halfway on my journey from Texas to Ohio – dressed in civilian attire and focused only on myself, I felt completely at ease as I headed to my Jeep with my coffee in hand.
A lady snags my arm as I walk past. “You look like I need to wish you a happy Memorial Day. Oh my, that sounds just terrible! I mean, you have a good Memorial Day. Ugh, thank you for your service to our country.”
Here’s to regulation haircuts and to finding others who are equally awkward.