Food for thought on veterans

By Frank Lewis

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In a day and age in which our nation’s veterans are struggling to receive the type of respect and treatment they deserve, it was refreshing to see how many restaurants in our area offered free meals to America’s finest citizens. It would be good to make note of the companies that offered this wonderful service and thank them when you get a chance. The best way to thank them is to eat there once in a while to show your gratitude for their actions.

Places like Applebee’s, Bob Evans, Little Caesar’s and Ponderosa just to name a few, stepped up to say “thank you” to our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

I know, at one point, Ponderosa in Wheelersburg had served well over 600 people and there were people lined out the door onto the parking lot.

I asked one of the very busy waitresses in a joking manner, “have you had to work today?” She smiled and said – “I have, but this is an honor.” Wow. That made me proud.

But I am sure all of the other restaurants who offered free meals had just as great an attitude.

Let’s be honest, it cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to serve free meals, and we owe each one a big “thank you.”

I overheard two Vietnam veterans who had never met; begin to share stories about their experiences in a mutual war zone. It was the bonus to such an event. There is a thread that runs through all military members – they are unselfish and objective-driven. They are the best of us and when someone steps up to do something as simple as provide them with a free meal, it has the long-range effect of letting them know we still care for and appreciate their efforts and sacrifices.

Thank you restaurants for providing meals for our veterans. And a special thanks goes out to Sam McKibbin who has re-established the veterans recognition event at Shawnee State University. Hats off to Michael Hughes as well.

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” – G.K. Chesterton.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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