Rosemead Kiwanis Club
"Serving the Community Since 1945"
The Fax of Life
A weekly inspiration, courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of Scott's Valley
January 6, 2013 Volume 19, Number 11
Viet Nam, 1966
Richard, (my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Viet Nam , other than he had been shot by a sniper. However, he had a rather grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures.
A few years ago, Ann Margret was doing a book signing at a local bookstore. Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o'clock for the 7:30 signing.
When I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore, circled the parking lot, and disappeared behind a parking garage. Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted.
Richard was disappointed, but wanted to show her the photo and let her know how much those shows meant to lonely GI's so far from home. Ann Margret came out looking as beautiful as ever and, as second in line, it was soon Richard's turn.
He presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo. When he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not sign it. Richard said, 'I understand. I just wanted her to see it.'
She took one
look at the photo, tears welled up in her eyes and she said, "This is one of my
gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most certainly will sign his photo. I know what
these men did for their country and I always have time for my gentlemen.''
With that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on him. She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young men she met over the years, how much she admired them, and how much she appreciated them.. There weren't too many dry eyes among those close enough to hear. She then posed for pictures and acted as if he were the only one there.
Later at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he'd like to talk about it, my big, strong husband broke down in tears. 'That's the first time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army,' he said.
That night was a turning point for him. He walked a little straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet. I'll never forget Ann Margret for her graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant to my husband.
I now make it a point to say 'Thank you' to every person I come across who served in our Armed Forces.. Freedom does not come cheap and I am grateful for all those who have served their country.
On behalf of those who DO appreciate all that you did for us, thank you to each of you who receive this message who have served or are serving our country in the armed services or any other service.
---Contributed by Kathie Meiklejohn
Editor's note: Is there someone you know who has been waiting a long time to hear "thank you" for something they have done? Do you understand that YOU are the one who is supposed to thank them? What are you waiting for!
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. All of its Clubs are independently-run community service groups.
The Kiwanis Club of Scott's Valley normally meets at Bruno's Restaurant in Scott's Valley, CA, on Wednesdays at 7 am (second week of the month at 5:00 pm) - see the Scott's Valley Kiwanis website @ http://svkiwanis.org for details; The Kiwanis Club of Rosemead normally meets on Thursdays at 12:10 in Rosemead, CA - see the Rosemead Kiwanis website @ http://rosemeadkiwanis.org for confirmation and directions. Visitors are welcome to attend meetings of either club anytime.
There is no charge to anyone for receiving the "Fax," which today is circulated by e-mail rather than literally by Fax. If you have been encouraged in any way by the message, pass it on by saying something encouraging to someone else during the week. To subscribe to the free RKC Reporter and RKC Kiwanicle, both of which include links to the "Fax," simply email email@example.com,
Neither the Scott's Valley or Rosemead Kiwanis Clubs make any representations as to the accuracy of quotes or actions attributed to named individuals; material selected for the Fax of Life comes from a variety of sources and is chosen based solely on its presumed inspirational value to readers.