Pay it Forward

Hi Everyone! I’m so glad to be home from my deployment!  Being active duty has many challenges, as does my family when I’m gone.  While I was gone this time, I realized that I was in my “zone” and had completely forgotten about my own birthday.  Now I know that sounds crazy but when your job is taking care of other people, we really seem to neglect taking care of ourselves and even our birthday.

birthdaySo this year, I spent my birthday in Germany working a 14 hour shift.  And what a day that was!  It started out like every other day, going to work and checking out all my usual important stuff.  I was really concentrating on helping some Wounded Warriors get home, so definitely not thinking about myself.  Then it became lunchtime.  So, I borrowed a coworkers car and proceeded to the shoppette to grab something to eat.  After acquiring some non healthy food (pizza to be exact!) I pulled out of the shoppette and immediately saw the flashing lights behind me.  Disgusted with myself for not coming to a complete stop at the stop sign, I rolled down my window.

The nice PFC asks me all the usual questions, and then asked me my birthdate.  I looked confused for a moment and then asked him what the date was.  He answered 28 September.  I looked at him and said, ” Oh, well today is my birthday!”  I was so tired that I had completely forgotten.  But that MP sure didn’t and he gave me my first present of the day….a pretty pink ticket.  As I drove back to the office, I was just so bummed that it was my birthday and I was again away from my family, and it’s not like I wanted all the young Soldiers in my office to catch wind I had gotten older, so I decided to say nothing when I got back.

I proceeded to get completely submerged back in my work for the rest of the day and even put in a few extra hours.  When I finally left the office, I realized that there was only one place left, open that late that was close to my room that I could eat dinner at, and of course it was pizza again. So, I just said to heck with it and walked over there.  The nice girl behind the counter looked at me and said. “Someone had a rough day.”  I just smiled and looked at the mirror behind the counter, I looked super tired and dead on my feet.  Those past few weeks had ben pretty crazy.  So I placed my order, and like good people they look at your ID when they take your debit card to make sure it is in fact yours.  I then went and sat down waiting for my order.

After 15 minutes went by, the ladies from the back came out with my order, half a carrot cake, some cookies, and some soda.  They all sat down with me, sang happy birthday and ate dinner with me.  I guess I didn’t realize how many times I had gone there and always been nice, given them tips, and told them I hoped they had a great day.  One of them even reminded me I had walked in on a Saturday and fixed their cashier’s drawer because it wouldn’t close properly.  I had forgotten about that.  So all these times I had been nice and gave a hand when they needed it had not gone unseen.  For this time, when I needed someone the most, out of left field I made some new friends, and has the best carrot cake ever for my birthday.

Lessons learned here: You never know when people are watching you, so always do your best and the right thing.  Tonight, I tip my glass of wine to those ladies that made such an impact on my life while I was deployed, which I will surely always remember to pay it forward!


About Retired Blogger

Army Wife Network is blessed with many military spouses and family members that share their journey through blogging in our Experience blog category. As we PCS in our military journey, bloggers too sometimes move on. Their content and contributions are still valued and resourceful. Those posts are reassigned under "Retired Bloggers" in order to allow them to remain available as content for our AWN fans.

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