Last night I was at the IP in Biloxi, MS. I was in line at the buffet with four other Airmen. After I realized that the bill was $25 a plate, we all decided to leave. As we were walking away, a man told us to stop and asked us why we were leaving. We told him that we can not afford it. He told us that we do not deserve to be in the back of the line and I replied cunningly that we will be sent to the “front of the line” very soon to try to be humorous. To my dismay, it struck a sense of emotion in the man, I can see it in his eyes. As we walked directly to the front passing at least 45 people and 60min of waiting in line we were followed by eyes. Every step that we took I felt more and more grateful of this man as did my fellow Airmen. He paid with no doubts in his mind and did not care that the bill was $200. I asked him, “how do much do we owe you?”. He replied with a strong, “You don’t owe me anything!”. We asked him why and he responded by saying that he was in Vietnam and when he came back home from that war, nobody cared. Nobody cared about the sacrifices that he made to make this country what it is now. He wanted to show us that people DO care. He began to weep and tears fell down his eyes. My throat developed a lump when I shook this mans hand. As I started to tell him that after what he did tonight I will work harder to earn that dollar he cut me off and said that I already earned it. I have never had an experience like that. I will always remember him and everyday that I get up and put my uniform on I will put that extra effort to get the job done for him and for my country. Thank you sir.
Thank you for supporting me and this country.
Thank you for giving me mounds of patriotism and motivation.
You are the reason why I fight.
You are the reason why this country is great.
Airman Jones, Shane S
OSAN AFB South Korea