I Don’t Know You But I Owe You: A Tribute to Our Military

PolitiChicks.comI saw you again today, and I rolled down the side window to ask to shake your hand. You were nice, though puzzled, and you extended your hand. I said that I just wanted to say thanks, and you looked surprised. I took your hand and you looked at me with questioning eyes. You said, “Who are you? Have we met before?”

Still hand in hand, I shook my head, no. Then I said, “I don’t know you, but I owe you. I look for You, everywhere I go, and when I see You, I only want to pay my debt.” You were puzzled. “What debt? I don’t understand.”

“Sir, I said. I saw your cap, and I knew you. You are one of the best, a stranger, yet my friend and my guardian angel. Didn’t You know that?”

And then he knew, and a tear, then two, wet his cheek and he tried hard to smile. “Ma’am , I used to think that, when what I did was going to make things safe for homes like mine. I grew up Red, White and Blue and did what was the right thing for me. I saw my khaki uniform just like a cape of strength and safety, and I wore it like that. I would do it again, if I could.”

Then the tears were mine, as I had not noticed sooner that the hand I still held was the only hand he had. I did not know him, but I owed him, a debt neither I nor any other caring person’s handshake could repay.

You said “It’s okay lady. You live in peace and happiness because I owed you, too. Let’s call it even.”

Letting go was hard, that time, and as You stepped away, You gave a sharp salute, and turned to go your way.

I will see You again tomorrow, or the next day, because I look for You so that I can, handshake by handshake, pay down a debt that I will always owe.

Lou Ellen Brown

Lou Ellen is a 4th generation Texan. She taught high school 43 years in all 5 geographic regions of Texas. She is a Certified Lay Minister in the Methodist Church, and has strong ties to The US Constitution and The Bill of Rights and those rights are not negotiable. Lou Ellen taught secondary, 7th-12th grade, and some freshman college level classes in Texas schools, including English, Spanish, Speech, Theater and Civics. She was also girls' basketball one year. She says she intended to be a writer, "and my half-novel is still waiting, as is my book of poetry." Lou Ellen is very active in her community and recently completed her second term as president of the Sesame Literary Club. She is retired and participates in the Texas Retired Teacher Association, and teaches an adult class in the First United Methodist Church of Hughes Springs. Lou Ellen and her husband, Gene, attended a Tea Party bus stop rally where they were thrilled to meet and get a photo with Lloyd Marcus. "We are Republicans of the old fashioned variety," Lou Ellen says.

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