Before I left for Vegas on Thursday, I ran over to Lincoln Trails Elementary School in Mahomet for a very touching Veteran's Day Assembly. They meant to honor local veterans, and present me with a bit of a surprise.
One wagon full of beanie babies, that they'd collected.
WAIT! TEN wagons full of beanie babies, for a grand total of over 2100, that the children had collected during the month of October.
We listened then, through singing and readings of letters from children that had veterans in their family. One young man's great-great-great grandfather fought in the civil war. One's brother was a hero, he read, "because he signed up without even being asked." Children spoke of their Uncles, fathers, and mothers, while I sat hoping that my mascara wasn't running.
And today, Clint and I woke up and ran down the street to catch the Veteran's day parade here in Vegas. While we waited for the parade to start, I approached a few vets in the immediate area.
This guy served in the army from 1960 to 1980, and you won't believe this: He was stationed at the Reserve Center on Main Street, in Urbana, Illinois, from 1965 to 1966.
And I introduced myself to this man, who served in 1950, and asked him I could take my picture with him, to send to my son.
When we were done talking to him and taking our leave, he told me "thank you."
I had to pause only for a split second before I gave him a hug, and told him, "No. Thank You."