Yesterday, I sat in a Bob Evans in Dublin, Ohio with my three year old. About halfway through our meal an older gentleman sat down across from us. He had no military hat on or any other obvious sign that he was a veteran. However, every ounce of me knows he was. My guess is that he was a World War II veteran. I stole glances at him in between stopping apple juice from spilling, coloring on a kid's menu and bribing my daughter that if she ate two more bites of pancakes she could have a piece of gum in the car. I wanted so badly to go up to him and say, "You're a World War II veteran, aren't you?" He had kind eyes, and I tried to picture him as a young man in his 20s, in uniform, serving our country. He nodded and smiled at me as we left, like he knew I wanted to speak with him. Had my little crumb cruncher not been yanking on my arm I would have stopped.
There is something about those who have worn the uniform. My husband and I can spot veterans or people currently in the military a mile away. OK, maybe not a full mile, but from across a room at least.
What is it about people who have served? Is it the way they carry themselves? The way their hair is cut? The look in their eyes? I cannot quite put my finger on it. When we do get the chance to meet people we suspect are veterans, or overhear something they are saying to someone else, we are usually correct- they did serve.
I can't think of another group or occupation where you can do that. I have never heard of nurses seeing a woman at Wal-Mart and say to themselves, "Oh, yes, she must have been a nurse".
What is it that you do, say, or act like that others just know you are a veteran or are in the military? Do you notice others in this way, or am I crazy? (OK, don't answer that question).