Well, regardless of the misunderstandings...I wound up taking the son to Applebee's today and we had a great lunch! While we were there we had a pretty good wait (understandable given the number of retired military in the St Louis area) and we met up with a couple of fellas from our church. As we sat there chatting an elderly couple pulled up and parked very near us. I could see that the gentleman was quite old and he was wearing a very old uniform. Jake, my youngest son at 14, got up and headed over to the car to assist the man and I helped out the wife. As we were getting them out of the car I recognized the uniform as an old US Army uniform and he wore the rank of private.
We got the couple sat down in the shade for the inevitable wait and Jake started asking questions about the old gentleman's wartime service. We sat there riveted by this man's stories and accounts of his service from the time he enlisted at the age of 16 until the day he was wounded in battle in 1943. His military career ended that day and he has had to walk with a cane from that point on.
My name was called and our table was ready and I asked the waitress if the table we were getting would hold four and she said it most certainly would so I invited the old couple to join us. We sat there for the better part of an hour trading war stories and talking about the dependents role during service time. We talked about the places we'd been to and how different they are today. It seems as though we had been to some of the same places in our careers. In short, we had a great time! As a way of saying tanks to the both of them for their sacrifices I picked up the tab for all of us and we helped them back to their car where we said our goodbyes.
Jake and I made new friends today. It was a good day.