Just a few days ago, a man in his early thirties rang my doorbell and asked if I would like to have my lawn aerated and fertilized. We agreed on a price, and he went to work. A short time later, he rang my doorbell again and indicated he had finished. Then he asked me a question I was not expecting—after he had seen the Marine Corps license plate on my truck in the driveway.
“Are you the Marine here?”
“Yes, I am,” I answered.
He said, “Thank you for my freedom. I appreciate it.”
Then he did something I will never forget. He saluted. All I could manage was a nod of my head and a soft, “You’re welcome.” As he left my door, tears filled my eyes. Although I never saw any combat action during my time in the Marines, this man’s spirit of gratitude and his expression of thanks for my service overwhelmed me. I will never forget it.
Approximately 13% of the men who spend the night at our Lawrence Street Shelter are veterans, and many of them have experienced the reality of war. I have heard it said that approximately 20,000 veterans will be returning to Colorado over the next few months as our global military involvement is reduced. Most of these men and women will be looking for work in a tough economy, some will go to school, and sadly, some veterans will end up at the Denver Rescue Mission. All of these folks deserve our thanks. This is why we will continue to do everything we can to help the veterans who come to the Mission transition back to civilian life as self-sufficient members of our community. It is our way of saying, “Thank you for our freedom.”
Please join us in providing around-the-clock care for these brave veterans, and for all those we serve!