I literally just got back from Wal-Mart. Party supplies for tomorrow's game, clothes for work....it was a two-hour affair.
Shortly after I got there, I was walking around enjoying some alone time and looking for bargains when I see a couple of soldiers from the PA National Guard headed to the checkout. I swear, God spoke to my heart and told me what to do.
I noticed in their cart that they had about five cases of bottled water. I hopped in line immediately behind them at the checkout and watched as they grabbed some gum, some beef jerky, and a couple bottles of pop and threw them in the buggy as they waited.
A little side bit of info here. This is the Wal-Mart I have a relative working at, so I am no stranger to most of the cashiers. In fact, I feel a part of their little family. Back to the story....
Right before the cashier finished the sale of the lady in front of our soldiers, I tapped the one soldier on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, but could I just hop in front of you guys? I only have to get one thing," I said.
Looking a bit understandably miffed, he allowed me to go ahead of them.
The cashier was just finishing the previous sale as I took my place at the register. "Leah," I said, "All I need is to pay for what these guys are getting." She looked stunned.
She waved the soldiers over to have their order rung up. "What's going on?" asked the one soldier. I explained that with all the sacrifice they make, paying for their items was the least I could do. They tried to argue with me, but, after giving them those lost-puppy eyes, they agreed to let me pay for the bottled water. Fair enough. The girl in line behind them rolled her eyes when she saw what I had done (She's lucky I didn't blacken them), but by the time this was settled, a small group of people had gathered and sent our heroes off with best wishes.
I walked away after thanking them for everything they do and receiving thanks from them (I really wasn't worthy, but appreciated it). I cried like a baby for the next 15 minutes and didn't care who saw me.
It wasn't a huge gesture on my part when compared to everything these men and women do on a daily basis, but I felt it necessary to thank them in whatever way I could.
Thank you, God, for telling me to do that. I got much more out of the experience than our soldiers did.