Join AARP's Live Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall at 1 p.m. ET Thursday. Learn more.
by Michele Bartlett, May 10, 2007
An aged veteran and his elderly bride were lunching in a Wendy's one day. He was wearing a cap with the insignia of his unit. I asked his wife whether he was a World War II veteran, and when she said yes, I said, "Would you please tell him thanks and give him this for me?" and gave her a hug.
At a concession stand, with my twentysomething kids alongside, I anonymously bought the Marine behind us his iced tea and granola bar — and I got a hug from my vehemently antiwar son!
I've hugged our Vietnam vet postman, a lovely female Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv, and Operation Iraqi Freedom soldiers in the airport. I plan to continue doing so, at least until someone says, "Ewwww! Quit that!"
I don't know if they feel honored, but I hope they feel appreciated!
The AARP Bulletin's "What I Really Know" column comes from our readers. Each month we solicit short personal essays on a selected topic and post some of our favorites in print and online. Michele Bartlett is a reader from Littleton, Co.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at