A friend of mine posted this story this morning on his Facebook page. While reading the story I had tears rolling down my cheeks and I immediately thought that the rest of you who read OGT would appreciate the story as well.
This is the type of trucker I want you to know is out on the road, traveling down the highways with you.
Thank you Jimmy!
Story by Jimmy Guiste
As I walked into the Iron Skillet Restaurant, my stomach was growling, and all I wanted to do was eat, now! The restaurant was extremely packed, even for a Sunday morning, and there was no place to sit…except ONE seat…at the counter. Against my better judgment, mainly cause I was so hungry, I hastily decided to sit at the counter. I ordered my sweet tea, no lemon of course, and began listening to all the big time company drivers’ talk about how fast they topped the last hill. To the left of me sat an obnoxious loud mouth, go figure, and to the right of me, a gray haired man, with a neatly trimmed mustache, and perfect posture.
Not wanting to hear the crap spewing from the “professional” beside me, I turn to the man, and begin to make small talk, about the weather, trucking, etc. Through our conversation, it was mentioned that my brothers were vets of the USAF, and the US ARMY. He then volunteered that he was a Vietnam veteran, serving with the Marines, for 5 years over there. He was a little reluctant to talk at first, but we started conversing, and reminiscing, and we quickly a chatterbox full if stories and memories, both good and bad. He would talk about the funny pranks they pulled on each other, and the funniest of all, about the time they crated up their Colonels VW car and shipped it back to the US without him knowing it. He continued telling me about the natives of the land, and the way they reacted, again good and bad, towards the war, and the US soldiers. We continued talking, and he started talking about the process of coming home, and how he came home to nothing…a young wife, that was pregnant when he went to war, was now gone.
He continued on, telling me how hard he searched for her, and his child, for almost 5 years, and never found them, and to that day, had not…a man who fought for his country, came back and left with nothing, not even an explanation. He choked back some tears, as he began speaking about the way he was hated and basically shunned, when he did return home. This man was a hero in my eyes, and I was very taken back by the things that he said, regardless of how folks felt when his tour was finished. We changed the subject, as we both finished our, now cold, breakfast. It was at that point that I learned he was 66 years old, was from Chillicothe, OH and delivered new trucks for Kenworth.
The only regret I have was not asking for his phone number, as he still has no family. As we were both ready to go, I asked the waitress for both of our checks, his and mine. As most men do, he didn’t want me to pick up his tab, but I insisted. I told him, that it was “the absolute least I could do, for what he has done for me, and considering the amount of disrespect our country has showed him”.
He had tears in his eyes, as I paid the cashier. We both walked outside and towards our trucks quietly, not saying a word. As we reach a point where I need to go my way, he reached out, shook my hand, and then saluted me, and said “God bless you young man and be safe”.
THAT is what a hero is folks, NOT some sports star, or musician!
THANK YOU VETERANS!!!