Many of you may have already
heard this story. For those who haven't,
it's one well-worth knowing. Walking through a parking lot toward a restaurant
with his Mom, an 8-year-old boy spotted a $20-bill. Seeing no one around who might have dropped
it, with Mom's approval, the young man picked it up, put it in his pocket, and
continued into the restaurant. As you
can understand, for an 8-year-old, that $20 must have seemed like a
fortune. So, as he sat, waiting to
order, he began to think of all the neat stuff he could buy with that,
literally, new-found money.
Then the boy noticed a soldier and his family enter the restaurant, and his thoughts turned suddenly from self to honoring others. You see, his father had been a soldier, too, and that newly-arrived family reminded him of his Dad. So he borrowed Mom's pen, wrote a note on a napkin, wrapped it around that $20-bill, and took it over to that soldier. And here's what he wrote, in part: "Dear Soldier: My Dad was a soldier. He's in heaven now. I found this $20 in the parking lot when I got here. Thank you for your service." Signed, "a gold-star kid."
The young man's father, an Army Sergeant, perished in Iraq, when the boy was just a few weeks old. So he knew his very special Dad, only through photos and recollections shared by his Mom. What an incredibly kind and selfless act. And especially, so, for an 8-year-old. Departing with his treasure to help a military member he didn't know. His Mom was understandably proud. The soldier, touched by, and would never forget, the thoughtfulness of this young stranger. A remarkable story, one that pays tribute, not only to the strength and bonds within military families, but also to the innate kindness, and unselfishness, that resides, or should, within us all.