Ken Beaton: It’s your decision

Can you believe a whole year has passed since Veterans Day 2014? Last year, did you thank at least one vet for his or her service?

We’ve all seen the bumper sticker, “If you enjoy your freedom, thank a vet.” Step out of your comfort zone to overcome your fear! Smile as you walk up to those wearing a veterans hat and extend your hand. As you firmly shake their hand, remember to say, “Thank you for your service.” You made a vet’s day.

Nov. 11 is a federal/state holiday. You have the whole day to ask a vet, “Would you like a coffee?” Maybe it’s beer at your favorite pub; buy your vet a beer. Remember, for each soldier in a fox hole or a pilot flying a mission, there are at least 10 support personnel delivering food, ammunition, maintaining or loading an aircraft with ordinance to fly at peak performance on every mission and win the war.

Now it’s the time to ask your vet questions. Get him or her to share their story. This is one time it’s OK to have a “cheat sheet” with a number of open ended questions to prompt your vet to talk. Remember your vets are talking about a great subject, their experiences. A coffee or a beer is a wonderful way to ease into a conversation.

Maybe you’re a shy person. Visit the veterans section of Lone Mountain Cemetery or the Northern Nevada Veterans’ Cemetery in Fernley with some flowers. Select an undecorated grave and decorate it. Copy all the information from his/her grave marker to research your vet. Share the vet’s story with your relatives and friends. Urge, cajole or “double dog dare” your relatives and friends to interview or research a vet.

Your objective is to expand your knowledge. You didn’t arrive where you are today alone. Your vet is partly responsible for America being a free nation.

Ask your vet if he/she is OK with you taking a selfie of the two of you. Proudly post the selfie picture on your Facebook page.

I’m not against technology, but I’m a believer in having quality personal conversations. If I’m having a meal with another person, smart phones or tablets are not allowed. I could care less what all your friends do during a meal. Thirty million wrongs will never make a right.

If I had begun to text another person while having lunch with my mother, immediately she would have me by one of my ears. Even though mom was smaller than me and didn’t have a college education, she knew how to give another person 100 percent of her attention while having lunch.

When push comes to shove, there’s nothing real about reality stars having a flameout after their 15 minutes of “fame.” Wouldn’t it be great if “Thank a Vet” went viral? Decide to get involved! This could be the best Veterans Day ever!

Ken Beaton of Carson City contributes periodically to the Nevada Appeal.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment