"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.