Daughter and I were on a military base this afternoon shopping. While walking through where food vendors are, I saw a elderly man in a wheel chair fidgeting with something in his hands. He was alone, head down, cup of coffee in front of him, no one person paying any attention whatsoever.
When his head raised I noticed the wording on his baseball hat; "World War II Veteran." Reminded me of what a friend told me years ago; "If you see a World War II veteran, hug them, you may never get a chance again."
I approached the gentleman, kneeled down, looked him right in the eye and almost cried. His eyes met mine and started watering. I put my hand in his and we didn't let go for a few minutes. My daughter pulled close to me as I said; "Hello and thank you."
"I am only one person representing the thousands just like me still alive, but not for too much longer." Stated this kind man.
I just let him talk. He asked me if I served, which I said I did for a long time. He in turn told me a little story of his past....all the while his hand was still holding mine. I just couldn't keep it together and it bothered me that he was so alone with his words.
My daughter and I left after saying thank you for his time. As I looked back more than once during the walk with my daughter, I noticed him staring towards me with a smile upon his face. He waved, I waved, and...I cried. Couldn't help it. I know I will never see him again but I am glad I got to spend just a few minutes with one of the Greatest Generations own.