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Memorial Day 2009

On our family trip two weeks back to California to see our friend graduate, we spent an afternoon on the boardwalk on Venice Beach. A couple dozen yards or so away I saw a man holding something up with one hand and holding his his other hand out as people just passed him by. I’m in the habit of handing a dollar or two to people who appear to be homeless, and I reached down to see that I had some singles at the ready. As he came near me, I saw he was wearing dog tags, and the thing he was holding up was some kind of veteran’s ID card. He asked for $2, telling me that it was all he needed to go buy lunch, and said that he was a Vietnam vet. Almost at a loss for words, I handed him the $2, and said, “thanks for serving.” He kindly responded, “you’re the first person ever to say that to me.” This seemed an appropriate story to share with you today.

  • Rick Vaughn May 25, 2009, 8:36 pm


    Always interesting people on Venice Beach huh?

    Anyway, I know exactly what you mean. I will always help a veteran no matter what it maybe. However, there was a big criminal ring out here in St. Louis who were caught falsifying dog tags for homeless people so they could be more efficient beggars.

    Glad to see you have a nice heart though. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Patrick May 25, 2009, 9:08 pm

    It’s unfortunate that you are the first person to say that to him since his return from Vietnam. It’s also unfortunate that many of the soldiers returning from war with illnesses (mental and physical) get little help.

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