Since we've moved to Wylie and Brad has taken command of Plano Company, we've had so many people stop Brad and thank him for his service. The first few times this happened, it came at a complete surprise--for many years, we've lived in military towns where the majority of residents are military or family of service-members, so no one goes out of their way to say thank you. But here in Dallas, where seeing a man in uniform is a rarity, we've had countless people walk up to Brad, shake his hand, and thank him for what he's doing. On several occasions, we've even had complete strangers pay for our meal at a restaurant and then leave, never even stopping by to allow us to thank them. Restaurants and coffee shops discount our check or simply give Brad his meal for free. Women, men, children, young and old have stopped Brad to shake his hand or hug him--and it happens on an almost daily basis. Many have had family members who served in earlier wars, some just admire our men and women in uniform for the sacrifices. But they all express such heartfelt gratitude, and it really warms my heart to see it.
Brad, on the other hand, is embarrassed by the attention. He feels like he's undeserving, especially now that he's working a desk job in recruiting. In the beginning, he didn't know what to say to the well-wishers, often times belittling what he was doing. I explained to him, though, that he should just graciously accept their thanks on behalf of all soldiers. These individuals can't express their gratitude to the men and women in Iraq or Afghanistan. But they can say thank you to the soldiers they meet stateside, who are all contributing to this war effort.
Now Brad simply thanks people for allowing him to do the job he does. He still doesn't like the attention and feels uncomfortable, but as his wife, I'm glad that people stop to thank him. He may not be in the desert fighting terrorists today, but he has in the past. Now he spends his days looking for young men and women willing to make those same sacrifices, supporting the soldiers who fight and taking the burden off of those families whose soldiers have already been deployed time and time again. His biggest risk of injury may be a paper cut today, but I also know that my husband wouldn't hesitate to go back and fight again if it weren't for Aiden and I and his sense of responsibility he feels as a father. I'm so proud of him, and so grateful to the people of Dallas who also recognize his selflessness. Thank you, Dallas!