We heard that Outback was giving servicemen a free appetizer and a free drink today, Veteran's Day... and Rick looked forward to our dinner there all day. Not so much for the free stuff... if it were for that, we'd have gone to Applebees, where they were giving away an entire meal to the servicemen who came in. No, Rick just adores being in the company of other servicemen. And comparing war stories. Literally. He also basks in the attention that non-military folks give him, too. People really do stop him all the time and thank him for serving.
I have yet to figure out if it's just the time period we're in... or if people were always this nice. Or if it's just Texas. Do folks do this in California as well? Or is it because America is just sensitive to guys serving in wars...
But it is Veteran's Day... and it is expected today. I guess.
So, off we went. To dinner at Outback.
First up... Rick is stopped on the way to our table by a family wanting to swap stories with him. He is stopped one more time before he finally joins me at our table.
It was a regular meal for us tonight. A bit on the large side, since we were getting a "bloomin' onion" and a drink for free. Rick dined on ribs, I had a steak. And it was a good meal. Even our waiter was charming. Well, he couldn't help but be. He was from California, too. That always wins our hearts.
But the evening was made even sweeter when it came time to pay our bill.
Our waiter came up to our table and said, "I have some good news for you." I didn't know what to think. "Another table has paid for your meal... to say thank you for your service."
I was stunned. I thought it was a joke. This just doesn't happen to us. It couldn't be. I mean I see this all the time on Facebook... people paying for someone else in a drive thru line. But a full meal? For two?
My heart was so touched.
Rick was not at the table when the waiter told me this (I thought he was in the restroom, but he was actually up visiting other tables...) and I asked the waiter to announce this to Rick himself. I knew it would be so much sweeter coming from someone other than your wife!
And Rick was touched as well.
Little things mean a great deal to Rick. This wasn't little. No, it wasn't. This was big... and it ranked way up there with just the ordinary folks that stop him and say thanks all the time.
The veteran in my house is a very proud man. No doubt about it. He loves this country so much... and almost always wears red, white and blue somewhere. Not to mention the assortment of baseball caps he wears that all tout military ranks and countries he's visited when in the service. But not all at the same time.