I'm selling my Mazda Miata. It's a nice car; 49,500 miles, excellent mechanical shape. So I go to Pep Boys to buy some soap so I can wash it before a prospective buyer buys the car.
I'm sort of flirting with the cashier; not really flirting, but striking up a conversation. She asks "so, finally washing your car, huh?" I responded that I was washing my old Miata so I could sell it. She asked about it so I said "hey; it's only 6 years old, 50 thousand miles, and I'm selling it for 9 grand. Want it?"
She replies "can't; I'm going to Iraq in a little bit."
Me: "Yeah, it'd be a bitch to ship a Miata there."
Then my brain kicks in--Iraq?
Me: "You're going to Iraq?"
Her: "Yeah; I'm in the army."
Me: (Stumbles) "Good luck."
I get out the door, and finally my brain kicks in: hey, something important happened. So I go back, flustered, and I say to her "uh, you know, there was, ah, something I wanted to tell you." I can see her face--she thinks I'm about to bust her for supporting the war or killing babies or whatever the majority of this far left liberal town has probably told her on the news and in person.
"Uh, I just wanted to say thank you."
She smiled. Me: "Really, thank you very much."
And I sort of slunked out of the door.
I think it's important that we show our gratitude to our armed forces--and the fact that she's shipping out to Iraq--damn. I don't think I will ever do anything in my life as important as she will be doing in just a few weeks. Even if all she is doing is peeling potatoes, I will never do anything half as important as what she will be doing.
And I just had to say "thank you."