About 2 or 3 years back I was stuck in traffic behind an old fucker that was puttering along down the main drag here in town. His car had the usual stickers on it, WWII Veteran, VFW, These Colors Don't Run, shit like that. The one thing that I saw, and it took me a moment to realize how unusual this was, was his license plate holder: Pearl Harbor Survivor.
Damn, there ain't a whole lot of them fuckers left between the resulting war and time. What wasn't killed off eventually died off.
Now here we have a man that was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, survived only to fight for at least that war and quite possibly the next two. A man that believed in God, Family and Country. Hell, he might have lost a son or two in later wars, maybe a grandson in our current war. Somebody that served his country and then worked his ass off the rest of his life. A man.
Anyways, he got in the left hand turning lane and I stayed in mine and we ended up next to each other at the red light. I looked over and saw an old man hunched over the steering wheel, looking tired as hell, just wanting to get home.
I honked my horn and he looked over kinda sorta irritated like I interrupting something, and I cranked off the snappiest salute I'd ever presented before and held it.
He looked surprised for a second straightened up and returned it with a huge smile on his face.
And I swear when I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw a young and strong man again.