This will appear in the Farmerville Gazette, Farmerville, Louisiana the week of 8/28/2016

I have been known to be quit vocal when our country is being steered in a direction that is contrary to its’ core values and being guided in a direction that is alien to a the dreams of our founding fathers.  It is the policy makers and the regulators that must provide the guidance that keeps our great nation moving in a direction that keeps us great; but it is the individual citizen that is the brightest star in our country.  When the American citizen does small acts of kindness in a great way this needs to be identified and held up as a banner to others as an example of how a benevolent country exists.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait the American military poured into the Mid-East and especially Saudi Arabia.  Never in the history of our country and possibly the world has there been an example of members of a country living in a foreign land showing so much support to its’ own military as the support for American forces during Operations Desert Shield/Storm.  Every night a large number of soldiers would come to ARAMCO to be treated to home cooking, clothes washing, television and a call home.  This small act of kindness was repeated for thousands of troops living in the Arabian Desert.  On weekends convoys of western expats would venture into the desert and feed as many as a thousand troops for a home cooked super, remain to serve breakfast and then go home to work the next day.  Everything was funded by the individuals; there was no company funds or American government funds providing the money to buy the food, gas or supplies.  Funding came from the pockets of the expats.  There was no grandstanding and no high fives; just a desire to help fellow Americans.  One Saudi told me that the American government funded this and that is why there was no Saudi support like the Americans.  I quickly corrected him and he was quite surprised to hear that the funds for all the support came from the expatriate citizens; the quiet American.

Recently our sovereign and proud state, Louisiana was hit by its’ second flood of the year.  The anguish of the flooded citizens of the state was broadcast around the world.  Support from the Federal and State governments was swift.  Just as fast was the response from various private groups around the world.  Great football rivalries were cast aside as South Carolina was one of the first to send aide, recalling the love portrayed by LSU during the flood last year at the University of South Carolina.  The University of Alabama sent its team’s truck full of supplies to the residents of beleaguered South Louisiana.

Last week I witnessed acts of kindness that would bring a lump to the throat of any proud American.  I was checking out at Home Depot and asked the lady if she was having a busy day.  She acknowledged that it was extremely heavy but for an emotionally sad reason.  The Home Depot in Baton Rouge went under water so material for rebuilding had to come from as far away as Monroe or even further.  She told me that one lady was checking out and her bill was about four hundred dollars.  A man in line asked if she was buying material for the flood victims.  She looked at the man and told him no, that she was one of the victims herself.  The man pulled out his credit card, swiped it and said this one was on him.

I told my wife Bonnie about this story and she said she heard a similar story.  A women from the flooded south was in line at WalMarts and when her three-hundred and fifty dollar bill rang up, a man in line pulled out his credit card and swiped it.  Again, the customer declared that this one was on him.

This is a great example of a great nation and the people that are its’ citizens, the quiet American.

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