Friday, November 12, 2010

The meal is free, but the waiting will cost you...

Sally told me, "Applebee's restaurant is offering a free meal to all veterans on Veterans Day. We should take advantage of it."

I said, "How do I prove I'm a veteran?" She said, "They said bring something that shows you're a vet, your discharge or wear your uniform." Huh. My uniform went to a thrift store about 40 years ago, and wouldn't fit me anyway. I took my framed Honorable Discharge from the United States Army off the wall, disassembled the frame, made a photocopy of the document on my scanner/copier/printer.

We decided lunchtime, noon to 1:00, would be too busy. If we got there about 2:00 p.m. we should be OK. So we did, and we weren't. The veterans were waiting in a long line inside the door to the restaurant.

The guys I saw looked a lot like me, "of an age," as we say. They mostly had on ball caps, some caps had the names of Navy ships. Several of the guys had white beards, just like me. I thought, all the Vietnam-era guys want to get in on the free food. I had told Sally I didn't want to wait in a long line, even for a free lunch. We drove up the street to a Village Inn restaurant. When we went in I noticed several men with their wives, and they looked just like the vets standing in line at Applebee's. They probably had the same idea as me; it wasn't worth waiting in line. When we were in the service we all waited in long lines.

We passed up a freebie, but Sally and I had a nice lunch and talked. It cost me $25.00, but my wife and I enjoyed it and I didn't have to wait.

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