If you waste as much time as I do with internet daily news and social media you have heard or read complaints about how the Veterans Administration takes care of vets’ health needs, but you have never heard one from this vet’s obscure corner of the internet. Fifty years ago I completed a six-year hitch as a US Air Force aviator and for the last 15 years I’ve been getting a monthly check for grocery money from the VA because one of my old-age maladies might be related to my flying through some orange clouds over the jungle of Southeast Asia. In addition the VA has reserved a beautiful patch of grass in the National Cemetery just up the road under which I will await Jesus’ return, with a gravestone and all of the appropriate stuff engraved on it, all at no cost to my family. I also get hearing aids, batteries, glasses and annual physical exams grattis. Unlike my private practice doctors they are proactive and not in a hurry to usher me out the door. Local Veterans Services provides chauffeur service that picks me up at my front door and takes me to my medical appointments and brings me home, even though I can and regularly do drive myself around. It’s all pretty sweet deferred compensation. I’m one blessed vet.

For all of this and more if I needed it I am most grateful for my fellow taxpayers’ expression of gratitude to me. But no expression has touched my heart more than the smallest unexpected act of kindness that occurred recently. A new pair of bifocals from the VA showed up in the mail, complete with a revolutionary glass cleaning cloth. It had one of the most underused phrases in today’s English language printed all over it–THANK YOU.

You are welcome, USA. It was my honor to serve.

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