I'I went to the bank the other day to deposit some checks. The parking lot behind the bank was pretty full. The only spot I could fit my truck in was in front of the garbage dumpsters, so I parked there. After I finished my banking I walked back to the parking lot and got into my truck. As I was getting ready to pull out of the parking space, I noticed and old man sifting thru the garbage in the dumpsters. He was pulling out plastic bottles and metal soda cans and putting them into a large garbage bag for the five cent deposit. I watched him for a few minutes. I felt sad that he had to do this to get some extra money. So I reached into my pocket and pealed off a five dollar bill. I got out of my truck, walked over to the old guy and offered him the money. He smiled and put out his hand to take the bill. He looked me in the eye, then looked at my Vietnan Veteran hat. He then quickly pulled his hand away and said "I can't take anything from a Vet" I offered the bill several more times. He kept shaking his head no. He finally said "I can't anything from someone who has fought for this country and risked his life for my freedom" He then turned away and resumed sifting thru the trash. As I walked back to my truck, I felt humbled and a little embrassed. I was just trying to do a good deed. I did learn a lession. I should have offered him a twenty dollar bill.
I'II was too busy at the job today to go out for lunch. So after work I stopped at the diner for coffee and a little snack. I sat at the counter sipping my coffee waiting for my order and watched the news on the TV. I made a Hillary comment and the guy next to me thought it was funny. For the next 15 minutes we expressed our views about politics, the economy, and the war in the Middle East. He looked at my Vietnam Veteran hat and said I probably knew about what war really is. I told him I did. He said he enjoyed our little chat and said goodbye. I finished my coffee and asked the waiter for the check. He said no check. So I went to the cashier and he said that man I was talking with picked up the check. As I was walking over to my car he slowly drove by in an old beat-up cab. We exchanged salutes. I said, "Thank you". He said "No thank you". I purposely waited for him to pull out of the parking lot heading toward the airport. I just couldn't let him see me get into my custom $70,000 pickup truck. I may have left the diner with a smile on my face but inside I was very embarrassed. I'm used to giving. I'm not used to receiving.
The Fishing Fleet
I remember when I was aboard my freedom bird on my way home from Vietnam. Our first refueling stop was Guam. As we made our approach the pilot came over the planes intercom and informed us that there were a number of Chinese fishing trawlers anchored just off the islands coast. These boats were not there for fishing purposes, they were there to keep track of our B-52 bombers. When the B-52's took off they would radio ahead to Hanoi to give our enemies warning that a bombing raid was coming their way. There wasn't much we could do because they were in international waters. But we were a little shocked when the pilot said he was going to start his bombing run. Just as we came to the fishing boats, he released the planes holding tanks. He banked hard left and we watched as the boats received both loads of shit, piss, and vomit.