He held the door for me as I exited the restaurant.
I gave the customary “thank you”.
But something inside me tugged at my heart to go deeper.

“Thank you for your service,”  I said to the gentlemen holding the door proudly wearing his Army Vietnam Veteran hat.  He was a little taken aback and then shook my hand and humbly replied, “you’re welcome”.

It cost no money for me to acknowledge his service.  But I believe the gift of a thank you obviously ran deeper than holding the door.

It may be awkward to go up to a stranger but I encourage you the next time you see a veteran service man or woman wearing a war-service hat or military fatigue to thank them for protecting our freedom.  The appreciation of the thank you far outweighs the awkwardness of the gesture.