My husband John is a Marine. He always wears something patriotic every day. On July 20 he was wearing a Vietnam veteran ball cap, Marine Corps shirt, and his American Flag sleeve that is worn with his prosthesis.

So there is no denying this man is 110 percent American Marine Corps veteran!

We had to go to our condo to do a few maintenance/replacement of the things, and when we took a break we went to one of our favorites places to eat in Destin — The Donut Hole Cafe & Bakery (everything is good). We had to wait in line quite awhile as it was the Saturday lunch rush. Once we received a seat and had ordered, we were just waiting on our food to be served.

While waiting a young man passed our table and handed John a note that read: "Thank you for your service to our country. Thanks to you my little three-year-old gets to grow up in a free country. Thanks."

This note was written on the back of OUR lunch ticket and he had already paid it! I can not even begin to tell you what a humbling experience this is for us — it's hard for me to eat my lunch when it does come because of the emotions that are overwhelming … because of someone’s gracious gratitude toward John's sacrifice for his country and his obvious continued patriotism toward his country.

I was raised by a combat Army vet who served in World War II and have been married to John for almost 30 years. In less than one month, in two different parts of this great country, we have had this same emotional, humbling experience.

I'm 61 and in all my years with these two men in my life, I have never before experienced anything like these two "thank yous" from two young family men. Both men, with families, that we could only simply say thank you to. We will probably never see them again but our prayer is that both of them be richly blessed — them and their families.

Maybe by some slim chance they will see the Destin Log. We can always hope.


Joyce Hembrough

Dothan, Ala., and Destin