Shake Hands with A Veteran

The older gentleman sat on the bench,

with medals adorned and head bowed low.

Reminded of fellows who would not be joining,

on this somber day of Remembrance.

A tear fell softly to the ground,

where war has never seen.

While many tears flowed years ago,

throughout the red stained fields.

He fought for freedom and peace,

He lived, while friends did not,

Now, even still, time takes its toll,

On our few remaining Veterans.

His eyes tasted war,

His ears felt death,

His hands had seen sacrifice.

These are our Veterans,

men and women who gave their all.

So, I wear a poppy to say thanks,

and I shake hands,

with a Veteran.

~Brandon Melanson




  1. My dad served during three wars (WWII, Korea and Viet Nam). He always proudly wore something that indicated his veteran status, and he was always thrilled to death when someone would shake his hand and thank him – and many wonderful people did just that. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He truly was a hero. May I share a little story?

        For years Dad told my sister and me that he wanted to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. We would just nod our heads and say something like, “That would be wonderful,” all the while thinking, “It will never happen.” But when Dad passed away, my sister, as his executor, thought she should at least inquire, just so we’d be able to say we tried.

        Cathie called the Arlington National Cemetery office, and explained my dad’s dearly cherished desire to be buried at Arlington. The lady said, “Did your father serve in any of the wars?” My sister said, “Yes, he served during WWII, Korea and Viet Nam, a total of 23 years.” There was dead silence on the other end for a few seconds. Then, with tears in her voice, the lady at Arlington said, “We would be HONORED to have your father at Arlington.”

        It was only then that Cathie and I realized that we had lived all our lives with a genuine hero – an ordinary man who gave extraordinarily of himself. He was one who never complained about the hard times his service had caused, but who rather was proud that he had been ABLE to serve.

        Dad was interred at Arlington National Cemetery with a color guard, artillery and all honors. He would be thrilled to know that his niche overlooks the Washington Monument and the Pentagon. I am thrilled to call him My Dad.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! That is a story to be cherished for sure! What an honor for you and your sister to make your dad’s wish come to reality. Truly a hero who served with a company of heroes and now rests amongst them!

        Liked by 1 person

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