Growing up (obviously, still a work-in-progress for me) I witnessed my Grandad and Dad always buy a meal, or cup of coffee (or pie), for anyone in uniform.
Now it’s tradition in my own family.
Haley Anne and Emma Jo see me quietly cover the tab for uniformed personnel and their families whenever we’re out-and-about. And, it’s my habit and pleasure to pay for the coffee if I see a soldier or peace officer at Starbucks.
On a side-note, I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life. I grew up in a military household. Each morning I’d awaken to the aroma of coffee and cigarette smoke. To this day I can’t smell coffee without getting a cigarette smoke headache. Coffee shops are agony for me. But, I’ll suffer a SBUX for my Vente Ice Chai. By the way… ANYONE that stands anywhere near a SBUX door and smokes SUCKS.
[end of digression]
…or lunch. I had some of my team visiting with me from Chicago recently. We were at Bagel Boys when I spotted a policeman waiting in-line. I told the crew at the cashier that lunch was on me. The officer was stunned and really grateful.
But, it was me that had the honor of thanking him for his service.
I’m not bragging, mind you. This is something that’s ingrained in my own DNA now. And, it was my Grandad that started the family tradition (and, likely his own father before him).
I stop in at the Bethany SBUX most days in the morning, and they hit me up to cover the cost of shipping LOTS of coffee to units in Afghanistan. That’s easy. I’ll do it every time. But, the overture of simply showing respect and buying a cup of coffee is profound – both for me, and the recipient.
This is only a reminder that you can quietly show your support by covering the cost of a cup of coffee (or pie). Its that common courtesy and it’s foundation that our warriors are defending every day.
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork