It’s always pleasing to see how young people show respect to our veterans. Wearing a “US Navy Vietnam Veteran” cap, 74-year-old Vietnam Navy Veteran Lou Zezoff of Granite City, Illinois, shared his experience of how the five young Marines made him cry.
Lou was with his wife Annette dining at a Cracker Barrel when one of the five young men, who sat a table close to his, came over and stood over Lou’s table.
“I stood up,” Lou recalled as he came eye-to-eye with the young man.
With his experience, Lou knew right away they were service members by their haircuts, high and tight, even though they weren’t in uniform.
Turned out, the young men noticed his “US Navy Vietnam Veteran” cap and the first to approach Lou wanted to thank him for his service. After the first man returned to his table, another came over to Lou. Once again the veteran stood up. The second young man said, ” I want to thank you for all five of us,” motioning to the other Marines.
They spoke briefly. Lou expressed his appreciation and wished them luck in their military careers, then returned to his meal, thinking that was the end of their reaction.
But, the surprise had yet to come. When Lou was going to pay the bill, the waiter, with a big smile, said, “This is your lucky day.” He told Lou that the young Marines quietly bought Lou and his wife’s meal.
On the receipt, one of them wrote, “Seper Fi” across the top with a hardy “Oorah!” at the bottom.
“You don’t have to do this. I know, being in the military, you don’t make a lot of money,” Lou told the Marines while putting his arms around one of the men, insisting that their acknowledgment for his service was more than enough.
“They wanted me to know how much they appreciated me,” Lou said.
Then came the farewell. Knowing that they were about to part ways, the young men decided to show the veteran one last gesture of respect.
While the fifth Marine was off paying the bill, one after the other, the our men filed in a line and each extended an arm to shake the Vietnam veteran’s hand.
After the fourth Marine gave Lou “the sharpest salute” he’d ever seen, the men turned and walked out.