This morning’s Wally-World trip left me awe-struck. My youngest went with me to help. One of her favorite things are Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels. Most of the Walmart’s in our area have one in their stores now. She can’t get one as often as she would like, but our trip was early and we left without breakfast, so this morning’s snack was nice. But it wasn’t the snack that left me satisfied, it was Melvin Bush.

We sat at the high top table in hopes of offering relief in my back pain. As I turned to take in my surroundings I noticed an elderly gentlemen sitting at a table not to far from us. Atop his aged gray hair was a hat he wore proudly, “Korean War,” it read. As we finished our snack I knew the Lord was prompting me to go speak. Then it dawned on me how timely this meeting really was as I was supposed to go to Walmart last night to pick up the things we needed for the boy’s birthday party for this afternoon. I walked over to the older gentleman, gently placed my left hand on his shoulder and thanked him for his service to our country. We chatted for a bit. He told me was 83 years old and how he isn’t allowed to be out in the heat and sun anymore so he just comes up there to sit. He shared how he loves to be in the garden and cutting grass but “they” won’t let him anymore. He then recognized that “the time has come for the younger generation to help do what he can’t do.” I shared how both my grandparents served in the Korean war and that my dad also served our country, and once again thanked him again for his service. At some point during our conversation I asked his name. Melvin Bush is the last male of ten siblings. He has one sister left. Throughout our chat he let me gently rub his shoulder as he made complete eye contact with me. As I thanked him again and wished him a nice day, he extended his hand to shake mine. I could hardly keep it together as I extended my hand in to his. His shake was firm, solid, and sincere . . . as was mine to his. My understanding is that Melvin Bush visits the Walmart store regularly and enjoys Auntie Anne’s pretzels and coffee. I will be looking for him regularly from here on out. If you are in the Pace area and stop in the local Walmart, I encourage you to do the same. It might just change your life. I know it did mine.

I am so thankful my grandparents and dad taught me the value of honor and respect for our nation and for those who have served (and their families), for those who sacrificed all, and for those who will continue to serve. The statement Melvin Bush made, “it’s time for the younger generation to help do what he can’t do” speaks more than merely for cutting grass and gardening. It means continuing to fight for America. For our freedom. These men went before us to protect our rights. And while it boils my blood when protesters burn the American Flag, or refuse to stand for our National Anthem, it is those that have gone before us that fought for those protesters to have that right. But, until the day the good Lord takes me home, I and my children will stand in honor of our National Anthem with our utmost respect, my flag will wave proudly, and I will continue to love, honor and respect the symbol for which she  stands.