It isn't his glasses, his walk, or anything else that draws me to look him in the eyes.
He wears a baseball cap with the name of his regiment. It's right there, in your face. I served my country.
He is the same age as my Dziadek, the same age as my husband's grandfathers. He was where they were. You can tell. In the trenches, fighting, swearing, praying, watching comrades fall.
My older daughter looks at him and smiles. He smiles back and starts to hobble on, pushing his cart.
"Thank you for serving, sir," I tell him. His eyes tear up a little.
My heart breaks. I'm sure his has, many times over.
He nods a little, jerks his head a bit and walks on.
I walk on and begin to tell my daughters why I told him that. What his hat meant. Why you should respect those who served. My family's own story serving and my husband's family stories.
The world's story. And it's long, complicated. I stop from telling them too much. Let them have their innocence just a little bit longer.
My father's wisdom rings in my ears as I think about the little bit of food that was in that veteran's cart.
The elderly and veterans should be taken care of. They worked their whole lives and sacrificed everything for the next generation.
Today is both Veteran's Day and Poland's Independance Day. How will you be observing?
An Interesting Article: Homeless Veterans, By the Numbers
I joined Five Minute Friday today and just wrote for five minutes without pause what I feel. You can join on The Gypsy Mama.