Monday, November 8, 2010


"Congress should stop treating veterans like they're asking for a hand out when it comes to the benefits they were promised, and they should realize that, were it not for these veterans, there would be nothing to hand out." -  Nick Lampson

My grandmother and I were driving to a restaurant for lunch. 
An old man, of about late 70s or 80s, stood outside of the Vons next to our restaurant. 
He was partially dressed in his war uniform, with his little green hat, and a jacket with some patches on it.
In one hand, he held a tin can, with a label on it for donations to whichever veteran organization he belongs to.
In the other, loose strips of paper, assumed to be little tabs of information about said organization.
It's a mid-afternoon November day, and the wind outside is blistering. 
He stands there, in his little uniform, with his mouth partially open in that way only old people can do so, and he rocks slightly by the force of the wind, clinging to his little strips of paper.

People walk past him, and he says nothing. He does not ask for donations, he only stands there, his stance proud, but his face weak. No one pays attention to him, no one ever does. They walk in and out, on their cell phones, in their heels. Like they haven't the time to acknowledge the man standing right by them, hoping someone will spare a few dollars to help their organization gain money to help the veterans who didn't get the benefits they were promised.

This.. depresses me. The image of this man standing there will be in my memory forever. It was so pitiful and heart warming at the same time.

I don't really know what to say.


  1. Most of the time they will be really happy if people just say hello and smile at them. It hurts a lot of people. Some of them were life-long military and always felt a separation and pride in that - always surrounded by other people who respect and admire you and truly appreciate what you have been through because they have felt it.

    Years later you have papers sitting in a government file-cabinet some where saying you are a hero but nobody gives a fuck. It probably made his day if only one little kid looked up at him and said he liked his uniform or just waved.

  2. Honestly, I think the last generation of veterans, the ones from WW2 or earlier, were the most patriotic and loving of their country. I'm not saying there aren't any now, just less. They went to war to fight for their country, some were forced into it, WW2 and before were some of the most brutal wars to fight in.

    It breaks my heart to see them ignored. I feel really bad now that I didn't say anything to him, but I was in the car :( Maybe next time I'll try and talk to one of them, and see if they'll tell me any stories :)

  3. This reminds me of a song by the manic street preachers. La tristesse durera. Look it up if you don't know it.

  4. This post touched my heart. I'm glad that i discovered your blog on Veteran's Day and was able to read post today.

  5. Ughhh. I would donate as much as I could to the veterans. I'm broke though so... ehh. Problems there. BUT! I wore my poppy!!! :D Lol. And I actually did my moment of silence without fooling around. Because I think it's a serious matter. These people fought for us, the least we can do is shut up for about two minutes to thank them.
    It pisses me off when people want nothing to do with them. If you're in the right state, help! If you have the money to give, give it! It's that simple.

  6. Ahh it is a serious matter. I don't like war (really, who does?) but for the people who went out there and either had to or wanted to fight, we should respect what they did, especially the WW2 veterans and such since those wars were so terrible and life changing.


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