Rude Awakening: Vets should be recognized every day

  • Published
  • By Ana Cruz
  • Independent Contributor
Recently I had the honor of taking a young, disabled veteran shopping and I was truly disappointed by the way people treated him.

While shopping, I realized I needed a small basket because he was purchasing more than we originally expected. He waited in the aisle while I went to get the basket. On the way back, I noticed something so sad.

The wheelchair-bound veteran was trying to get an item that was just out of his reach, and no one stopped to help him. They either reached around him or moved him out of the way.

"Oh well," I thought in disappointment. I guess no one has the manners anymore to assist a person in need.

We finished shopping and proceeded to checkout. I did notice a sign that stated that handicapped people may go to the front, but the young veteran and I were in no hurry. We got in line like everyone else. The next line that was available was the self check out. No problem.

As it turned out, the change machine jammed up. So we had to wait for the machine to be fixed before finishing our checkout.

A cashier seemed to think that it was our fault the transaction was taking too long, so when she needed to use the check-out scale for another customer's checkout, she decided to cut in front of our transaction. What truly bothered me was that the person offered no understanding for the disabled veteran, whose injuries limit his getting around.

The sad part of it all was when we got into the car and my friend patted me on the shoulder and said, "It's alright. I am used to that." He made me cry. Not because of the rude treatment he received, but because he is so used to that type of treatment. People do not realize this young man gave to this country, and a part of him was taken away.

I encourage everyone to remember that all veterans, young and old, disabled or not, should be treated with honor and respect ever day, not just on Veterans Day.