The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Valor

"Hey man, run by table 18." My friend Travis said to me.

"What is it?" I asked, "a hot chick?"

Which is usually the case, male waiters are particularly lecherous about exposed thongs, cleavage and the such.

Travis shook his head and smiled.

"Just go," he said.

Upon noticing table 18 I saw the people sitting there.

They were in their mid seventies but the man they were surrounding was far senior to them, at least twenty years senior. As he sat there enjoying his lunch they stared at him with the same awe that I had. He had a simple blue ribbon tied around his neck with a star pendant and eagle, with a simple word printed on the crest...

Valor

He was an awardee of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

It has been nearly 65 years since the war he was in was over, the men of that era are nearly all gone, and the Medal "winners" from World War II must be down to a mere handful.

It is an award any would gladly give back to have their friends, their bothers with us today.

Travis and I were students of history once, before our own lives took a different turn then we had planned, so instantly we knew what his medal signified. Only 3500 of the tens of millions of United States Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen have displayed the sacrifice, courage, honor and valor to be awarded this medal, a large majority of which have been posthumously.

As Travis and I were speaking of what we thought about the man one of the waitresses came over and asked what the big deal was.

So we told her about the medal and what is signified, what he had done.

She just didn't understand, didn't see the big picture, what men like that did to give us our freedom, she didn't see what the big deal was.

The freedom to bitch and moan online, the freedom to go to whatever church, whatever school, whatever job.

To raise your children how you want them to be.

To not be a slave.

To go to college.

Or to not.

Even the freedom to hate your own country.

Or hate the president.

Or to love him.

That's the big deal.

All because some twenty year old kid and his brothers spent the Christmas of 1776 charging through a blinding snowstorm at Trenton with something far more dangerous in the air about them than ice...

Because a fifteen year old boy froze to death in the icy hell of the trenches at Petersburg.

Because a Sergeant with a hell of a shot captured an entire company of the Kaiser's soldiers, by himself.

Or because that man eating his soup at table 18 fought off a platoon of Germans by himself as his friends lay dying around him, or he held a bridge when others couldn't, or maybe just a streetcorner, or he pulled his brothers to safety when others ran away.

Or a thousand thing on a thousand battlefields.

He is all of those men, he did all of those things.

That's the big deal.

A bit later on I saw Travis approach the man and say a few short words.

"What did you talk about?" I asked.

"I simply thanked him," Travis said.

So do I, So do I...

I wish I had shaken his hand.

But this the closest thing I can do, thank you, and thank all of the others for what we have.

Here is a site that details the stories of these men, most of them will shake you to the bone.

http://www.army.mil/cmh/Moh1.htm

And most of them end with "mortally wounded"

"Killed in action"

Or the word "Sacrifice"

Something most of us have lost or only heard whispers of.

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility" - Henry V

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day." - Henry V, Shakespeare

33 Comments:

At 3:10 PM , Blogger briliantdonkey said...

You always have good posts but on this 4th of July i think you may have out done yourself. As you said most of 'the greatest generation' is sadly gone. However, the sacrifices they made and the benefits we reap due to them goes on. You sound like a bit of a history buff like myself. If you haven't already you should check out "The greatest Generation" by Tom brokaw or even better(to me at least) "Flags of our fathers" by James Bradley. Both of them are AWESOME reads and do a great job showing what many "kids" have gone through for the sake of this country and it's freedom.

Thanks for the post and have a great 4th though i am sure like me you are stuck working.

INKcogKNEEdough

 
At 3:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You BS so much it's unbelievable. Miraculously this happened and you spewed all this BS on July 4th. Lay off the BS and start with some real stories. I'm starting to think all your posts are just made up fiction.

 
At 3:34 PM , Blogger Secret said...

Sorry, no BS here, this happened a couple weeks ago and I was saving the story for this appropriate holiday.

 
At 8:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's a great story, and very special to have saved it for today. Thank you.

To anonymous @ 3:31PM: Happy 4th of July.

 
At 10:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

thought you'd like to know whatever loon posted the 'i don't believe you' comment also apparently got into his father's liquor cabinet in the next seven hours and posted a flamer on waiterrant confusing him with you and ... oh, it's too good to even explain, just read it.
think it's about comment #38. you'll know it when you see it.

happy 4th -

 
At 11:25 PM , Blogger Joshthecook said...

Great post IW. My Grandfathers served during WWII, as did two Great Uncles. They are now passed on, but I remember them often. What they did, without a thought of why, always knowing that they were serving us. Such sacrifice has never been seen in such quantities in this world. That is what makes America great. Not military might, but the willing to make the toughest choice of all, all in the name of freedom and liberty.

Oh, and to retard that said that this was BS. Really? You have nothing better to do than to not only fark up a great story with your vitriol, but you then do it again on a different site? Why do I think you are some sad little EX-pat up in Canada that has nothing else to do, only because even the Moose stay away from you. No offense to our fine Canadian friends, and brothers up North. I am sure that if you could, you would kick this pissant out if given the chance.

 
At 1:24 AM , Blogger Evan said...

Thanks, Insane Waiter. Happy Independence Day.

 
At 2:20 AM , Blogger i'llnevertell! said...

Beautifully written, Insane Waiter. I hope all is well with you. Happy Independence Day.

 
At 3:00 AM , Anonymous star spangled nappy said...

godamn, this post almost made me vomit. I've finally had enough of your cheesy one liners following on one after the other. So typically american, and that is certainly not a compliment.

 
At 10:45 AM , Blogger ceece said...

even if it was made up who cares? good story and a good reminder.

Thanks.

 
At 12:59 PM , Blogger Brad said...

I'm wondering where he found a public library open on the 4th.

 
At 1:02 PM , Blogger i'llnevertell! said...

waiter, i'm trying to reach you regarding advertising, how would i go about that?

 
At 1:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to only cry whenever I thought of killing myself. Earlier I cried because I realized my own selfishness in the face of ... what? "Bravery" cannot describe it. "Courage" seems too weak a word to reveal the innner workings behind it. "Sacrifice" cannot contain the meaning, though it may come close.
I don't know what it is, but I recognize it each time I salute the flag. I will honor it, as much as I can, because it cost someone everything. His life, her family; all they held dear.

 
At 5:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent post...i don't think any further words are necessary

 
At 5:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post. and teehee, that idiot confusing the two blogs is great. wonder where star spangled nappy is going to go off once he finishes his daddy's liquor?

 
At 8:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband just got home from Iraq thank you, not many people understand the valor awards. I think the best CMH story is a Vietnam SF soldier who was shot over 26 times (pre-body armor), stabbed in the face, rescued over 30 American soldiers, and over 150 confirmed kills. He lived!

 
At 9:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nephew Dude:

Honestly!

Sometimes you reveal the man you're becoming.

First, "Eyes Wide Shut."

Then this.

Your Grammy had a brother at D-Day at Normandy, and another* in the Pacific Theater. Like you, these two WW II veterans were sons of that same chain of mothers and daughters that go back to the 1700s in you-know-where.

Your Gramps also served in WW II.

So you see, it runs in YOUR family, too.

Love,

Uncle R.

*a double first-cousin actually. Their fathers were brothers and their mothers were sisters. But since your Grammy and this cousin were raised in the same home and had all the same ancestors, he might as well be considered her brother.

 
At 12:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great link to their stories. To read them, it is . . . amazing what these brave men have fought for and died for so that juerk like the anons above can spout off without a care in the world.

Member of the Sons of the American Legion

 
At 11:45 AM , Blogger Brea said...

Thank you.

 
At 12:43 PM , Anonymous sadianne said...

Thank you for sharing that. My great Uncle was one of the soldiers who came upon the concentration camps in Germany. His tales shake you to the core.

God Bless all of our soldiers, past and present.

 
At 1:18 PM , Blogger dixiedarling said...

Great post!!!

 
At 6:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is your best post ever! Bar none!

 
At 11:15 PM , Anonymous Eustacia Vye said...

These are the sorts of things I think about when I think I'm having a bad day.

Excellent post.

 
At 2:40 AM , Anonymous Andrea said...

Definitely your best post so far. Thank you.

 
At 7:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear, hear.

This Gulf War Vet salutes the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines past and present that fight/have fought for our country. God Bless you and God Bless America.

 
At 6:20 PM , Anonymous Christina said...

This post gave me chills. I'm in the Army and there is a retired colonel here who also has the Medal of Honor. He comes to a lot of events on post, decked out in his dress uniform. It gives me chills every time I see him. And I'm always sure to thank him, though I know no matter how many times I do it will never feel like enough.

 
At 8:45 PM , Blogger 3308 Juliet said...

This post brought tears to my eyes, a hard thing to do, but something that always seems to happen when I think of the men who gave their lives for our and the worlds freedoms.

 
At 9:48 AM , Blogger that one girl said...

Beautiful post.
x

 
At 4:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Canada and have only started to read your blog today. This post reminded me of a day in tenth grade history class(social studies 10 for us). The men who fought in the Dieppe raid(the first attempt and failure at a D-Day)were all awarded a medal but it had to be worn below all of their other medals on their uniform. A girl in my class asked why they wouldn't just pin it up with all the others anyways. My response "you just don't", her response "why not?" it went like that for a few minutes until the teacher laughed and said the girl just did not understand.

It also reminded me of Smoky Smith, one of the living remaining Victoria Cross holders(canada's version of the congressional medal of honour). He passed away sometime last year, I was saddened. In June 2004 my family took a tour to France for the 60th Anniversary of D-day. It was amazing, I'll never ever forget it. My parents both met Smoky Smith at a ceremony at a cemetary called Beny-Sur-Mer(I think). My dad pushed his wheel chair, my mother held the door open to a port-a-potty for him(the old perv asked her to join him inside). The last I heard, his family wanted to sell his medal to a collector in Europe. The Canada Heritage foundation was fighting to buy it from them instead.

We don't say thank you enough.
-K

 
At 4:22 PM , Blogger Louarns said...

to: JoshtheCook
"Why do I think you are some sad little EX-pat up in Canada that has nothing else to do, only because even the Moose stay away from you. No offense to our fine Canadian friends, and brothers up North."

Using Canada as a means to insult and then following it up with "no offence"...did you think that would make it ok? Just a quick fyi... not ok... ok?

But that guy's a complete moron. Hilarious.

 
At 10:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had to comment, though the post was old. A few years ago wifey and I were staying at a B&B in Scotland near Edinborough. Our hosts were a friendly old couple. The husband turned out to have been the first representative from the English forces to plant a flag on Normandy beach.

Respect. Pure respect.

 
At 8:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

GAY

 
At 1:22 PM , Anonymous Snullbug said...

Over three years since you posted this, but had to comment. thanks for posting this. You do good work.

 

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