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Posts Tagged ‘military’

If you are in the Washington, DC area today (Friday) pick up a copy of the Washington Post.  There is terrific story about the Year of Giving by Susan Kinzie in the Metro section.  NPR’s Rebecca Sheir (WAMU 88.5FM) is also doing a story that will be aired on NPR’s Metro Connection at 1pm. 

My car got a flat last week because of a pot hole in the parking lot of Target in Seven Corners, VA.  The last thing I need right now is to pay for new tires.

I went over to Costco’s Tire Center to get two new tires placed on the car.  I got there a half hour before they opened so that I could be first in line and that way I could get out of there quickly as I had a ton of things to do that day. 

As it turns out, I was not the first one there.  Lysa was sitting in her SUV when I arrived.  Somebody else had the same idea. 

Since I had some time before they opened I decided to see if Lysa would take my $10.

She was sitting in her vehicle reading her Kindle, which she said she loves.  She was there to get her tires rotated and balanced. 

It turns out that she is a personal shopper for Nordstrom department store.  She loves her job.  She has been doing this since the 90s when she did advance work for Clinton and Gore.

There are no photos or video of Lysa.  She told me that there was no way that I was getting a picture of her in her “I’m just going to Costco” outfit. 

She told me that she was going to put the $10 toward a care package that she is putting together for the mother of one of her children’s friends who is serving in the US military in Afghanistan.  What a thoughtful use of the $10.

So…here is where my $10 gift turns into a net loss of $32.

At about this time there are numerous people waiting outside for the Tire Center to open.  I start to wonder if they will just try to pretend like they were her before Lysa and me.  There were no such issues and we go in only to find out that I have left my wallet at home (I keep the $10 in the inner pocket of a little notebook I carry around).  The Costco employee says that he can not start the work until I pay and present my membership card.  I was able to go over and get a temporary card at the Customer Service Center but I still had no way to pay for the tires up front.  I asked if he would make an exception and start the work and then I would take the Metro back to my house, get my wallet and come back and pay for it.  He agreed…but just one little problem.  I had no money on me whatsoever.  I had just given away all the money I had on me.  So I could not take the Metro and was forced to take a taxi back to DC to my condo where I ran in to get my wallet and paid the driver.  It cost me $20.  Then I had to Metro back over to Costco…another $2.

Oh well…I got a $22 reminder to always take my wallet with me!

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I am still trying to get caught up writing my blog…I am several days behind now…It’s been tough to stay indoors writing my blog when it is so nice outside.

Cole is a member of the United States Marine Corps (a big thank you to Cole for his service to our country!).  He has made two tours to Iraq and is looking forward to an opportunity to go to Afghanistan in January of 2011.  I notice that his left hand is injured and he said that he injured it while driving a military vehicle in Iraq.

When I meet men and women who have been on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan I like to ask them what their impressions of our efforts are.  So, I asked him about Iraq.  “We have done our job” Cole says.  “The government is in place.  The Iraqi army is good.  The police are in place.” 

I was surprised by two things that Cole told me.  One was that the Iraqi people don’t want us to leave.  I hope that is representative of us doing a good job there.  The other was that the Iraqi people go crazy for the military issued sun glasses they wear.  They wear Oakley brand if you are curious.

Cole says he will give the $10 to someone else.  He is not sure to who…but he agreed to let us know.

And then something happened that has never happened before.  A man came up to me and gave me $10.  Keith had been nearby and heard what I was doing.  I thanked him but said that it wasn’t necessary, that I had made this commitment and was prepared to part with the $3,650.  He insisted saying that he was really inspired by what I was doing.  I accepted it.  

Thank you Keith!  That was beautiful and sincere and greatly appreciated!  I hope the act of giving made you feel as good as I feel every day when I give away my $10! 

I have given Keith’s $10 away…stay tuned to Day 86 to find out what happened to it!

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