The true things you really appreciate most after returning from combat are the very things many take for granted every day.
I could remember one of my many things grateful for when I came home on one of my deployments was just to sit quietly and enjoy a nice cold glass of real milk. One of the strongest actions of gratitude I experienced was a meeting with a fellow Marine that deployed before me and when I returned home, he didn’t say anything, just gave me a good handshake. His approval and the fact we chewed the same dirt was all the thanks I needed.
Enjoy the below – Time for a C-Gar
Paul Andert was 17 years old when he began training under General George Patton in the 2nd Armored Division. He took part in successful invasions in Africa and Sicily before training with British paratroopers for the Normandy invasion.
On Thursday, the vivacious veteran said there was one thing he remembered most about coming home five years later: how a young woman thanked him for his service.
“I picked up my barracks bag and I went out and got on a bus to go home,” he said. “While I’m on the bus I was still limping, and a young girl got up. She must have been about 16 or 15. She said, ‘Soldier, take my seat.’ And that was the best homecoming you could ever have.”
Andert said that after getting “$30 and a car token” and being told to “go home,” the kind actions of the girl almost “tore [him] apart.”
“It really, really — I can’t ever forget it,” he said. “And every time I see a young girl … I always remember the reception I got. And it was more important than any damn parade or anything like that.”