I have twin boys who just turned 23.
Years ago, when they were about 5, I stopped at a gas station. As I was pumping gas, my boys spotted a very old man huddled in the corner holding a sign that said “homeless vet”. My boys begged me for money to give him.
I gave them a $5 and walked with them to offer the money. One said “excuse me sir, you can have this” and he held out the $. The man just looked at my boys and tears ran down his cheeks. Then the tears were streaming down my boy’s faces.
As we entered the store, he got up and came in. He bought something to drink and snacks. As we were leaving, one of my boys says “mom, mom, he bought food, not drugs or alcohol, can we give him more money?” The look on my boy’s faces, they were so thrilled that the man bought food! So, I gave each one another $5 to give.
When they got in the van, they were both crying and one says “Mom, he said God Bless Us! As we drove away, I was feeling so proud of my little kind, loving, and giving boys. Then I hear one say “mom, what’s a Vet?” Then the other says “brother, it’s a doctor for animals”.
I realized then that as I was teaching them about treating the homeless with respect but also making them aware that some are on drugs or alcohol, I never spoke with them about our Vets. I’m sure at their young age, seeing all these homeless vets, neither one wanted to become one. But now they understand.
Just a few weeks ago, they came to visit. I sent one to pick up lunch and when he came home, he said “I hope it’s ok, I used your change to buy a guy lunch.
They also made about 59 bags to hand out at Thanksgiving this year. They literally drove around looking for people in need.