I Paid For A Meal For A Man In Uniform And Here's What Happened

I Paid For A Meal For A Man In Uniform And Here's What Happened

Here's how a small act of gratitude to appreciate a life-risking sacrifice turned into a life-changing lesson.

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On one of these occasions, I was eating at Chipotle with two of my friends, and I didn't even think twice about getting up from eating with them to go pay for the man in line with an army uniform on. When he reached the cashier, I told the cashier that I was going to pay for his meal. He turned to me, mouth open, and asked me why. After paying, I told him that my friends and I were about to go to a football game and that without him dedicating his life to keeping our country safe and to protecting our freedom, we wouldn't be able to go the game. We wouldn't be able to live our lives the way we do without serious fear of our safety.

Noticing the wedding ring on his finger, I continued and told him that I wanted to pay for his meal as an extremely small "thank you" to his wife and family's sacrifice to the country as well. He looked at me with the biggest smile on his face as he said, "Well thank you for saying 'thank you'! I love my job because I get to protect Americans like you and your friends. It makes it all worth it. I really do love this country."

Finding his large smile contagious, I felt the biggest smile coming on as I said, "I love this country too," and with that, I never would have guessed what would happen next. He said, "Hang on just one sec, but let's move to the side to let the rest of the line pay for their dinners."

We moved just to the side of the cashier as he looked down at the American flag patch on the arm of his uniform. "I haven't ever done this, but I want to do this…" He took the patch off of the Velcro patch of his uniform and handed it to me. As tears started forming in my eyes, I looked at him without being able to form words. Smiling again, he asked, "Do you know why the flag is backward?" I managed to say "No," as he told me that the reason that the flag is back so that the stars are closer to the heart of the soldier.

He patted me on the soldier and said that he would keep my friends and I close to his heart as he continued to serve our country, and left the restaurant before I could even say goodbye.

This interaction not only renewed my appreciation for the military, but it also taught me a completely new lesson about the impact we can have on others. This man has risked his life for people he has never met, and yet he still took the time to brighten my day.

What would that look like for us if we chose to live like this? If we devoted our whole lives to others and to brightening instead of darkening their lives?

I personally think we'd all be finding contagious smiles and realizing that, despite everything, we love our country too.

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EXO's Xiumin Has To Enlist In The Military And I Am HEARTBROKEN

This is happening way too soon for my comfort.

Keleri
Keleri
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For those of you that are reading this, I love KPop. More than that, I specifically love EXO, and even more than THAT, I love Xiumin. He's my ultimate bias in the entire world of KPop, which is why I'm very heartbroken right now.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men are obligated to serve two years in the military. It used to be that they had to enlist no later than at the age of 30, but this past year, the law was changed to the age of 28.

This greatly affects lots of idols in the KPop world, particularly the ones that have already turned 28 (or will turn 28 by the end of this year), such as SHINee's Onew, BIGBANG's Seungri, and EXO's Xiumin. This means that these idols have to enlist in the military by the end of this year, and since it's already December, it really means the end of this month.

The compulsory military service isn't anything new, but this sudden decrease in the age maximum has hit lots of fans very hard, as it means their favorite idols will have to enlist sooner than they might've originally thought. This greatly damages the groups that these idols are a part of, as the group won't be fully together again until all of the member's complete their service. Xiumin is the oldest member of EXO, so he's just starting the chain of enlistments that will follow over the next several years.

If the other members of EXO put off their enlistments as long as possible, the youngest member, Sehun, will be enlisting in 2022. Assuming that is what ends up happening, EXO won't be the complete group until 2024, a six-year gap that could really hurt their relationship with their fans.

Of course, I love all of the members of EXO and will continue to support them even when my favorite member isn't a part of the new music that they'll be releasing. However, there are likely going to be a lot of fans who jump ship when their favorite member has to step away.

The Supreme Court of South Korea did rule last month that conscientious objection was a valid reason for refusing to serve in the military, and it also sounds like South Korea is trying to come up with an alternative for serving in the military, such as community service.

While I understand the reasoning behind having them serve compulsory military service, I don't agree with it. They shouldn't be forced to serve, especially if they don't want to. And this doesn't just affect KPop fans. Earlier this year soccer fans were begging the President of South Korea to give exemptions from the military service to their favorite players. The soccer players did receive an exemption, but only because they won gold in the Asian Games soccer tournament. All athletes who win gold at the Asian games of any color medal at the Olympics are exempt from military service. While this great for them, it also isn't very fair to the KPop idols, who also bring in a lot of income and attention to South Korea. Hopefully, in the future, South Korea is able to get rid of their compulsory military service and their men are not forced to serve.

Even though it hasn't even been officially confirmed that Xiumin will enlist by the end of this month, that is currently what it looks like will happen, so I'm just going to listen to the albums I have with him on them and appreciate the new music until he comes back.

Keleri
Keleri

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9 Things I Love About Being A Child Of A Military Man

Being apart of a military family requires sacrifice and can be difficult at times but it also has its advantages.

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My dad served in the navy for 23 years and is now retired. I'm grateful for his service and how it has shaped the person I am today.

1. The ability to live in unique places

My brother and I visiting our old house in Sicily

Megan Adair

I have 4 siblings and we were all born in different states! The best place we've ever lived is Sicily, which is also where I was born. People are always shocked when I say I was born out of the country. From what I remember about living in Sicily, it was amazing. Last summer, we were able to return there for the first time in 13 years and we even visited our old house.

2. You learn to cherish each moment

My dad was deployed for months at a time so whenever he was home, we would all cherish our time together. A big lesson I've learned from my experiences in life is to not take anything for granted. In a way, his deployment brought my family closer together.

3. You learn independence at a young age

When my dad was deployed, it was just my mom taking care of us 5 kids. I became a very independent child which I'm grateful for today. Independence is needed to be a successful student and to start taking care of yourself so I'm happy I developed mine at an earlier age.

4. Improvement in your social skills

In my early childhood, we moved around a lot. Starting in Sicily then to North Carolina then back to Sicily then to Maryland where my dad eventually retired. All the moves meant constantly having to make new friends at each location. With each move, it got easier to make friends and looking back, I feel like I developed good social skills from this.

5. Having a military I.D.

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There are many perks to having a military I.D. Many stores gives military discounts. In Maryland, we live near the Naval Academy so when we go every Sunday for church, we are able to park on base instead of having to walk on like everyone else.

6. You're eligible for several scholarships

Megan Adair

One of my scholarships that I have right now and a couple that I'm in the process of applying for are military scholarships. For someone who is dependent on scholarships, it's nice that they have a whole category set aside that you're eligible for.

7. Living on a military base

This might not seem like a perk to some but I find military bases fascinating. You have everything you could possibly need within footsteps. The houses are so close together but that only means you'll know all your neighbors well and make new friends from them. My family is still in touch with our old neighbors from Sicily.

8. You become used to change

It's very common for people to not like change but life is full of changes! Being exposed to several changes as a kid has definitely helped me become quick to adjust. I now look at change as a positive thing that brings new opportunities.

9. The commissary and navy exchange

The commissary and navy exchange are stores requiring a military I.D. to shop at. The commissary is a grocery store which usually has groceries for cheaper than normal. The navy exchange is a store that pretty much has everything (clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc.) The items are usually discounted too.

I definitely have a greater appreciation and understanding of the military from my dad's service. I'm grateful to be the daughter of a veteran.

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