My mornings typically begin with a hot cup of coffee, a review of plans for the day, and inevitably a scroll through Instagram. One morning last week I came across a link on Sharon McMahon’s account (also affectionately known as “Sharon Says So,” a self proclaimed “Governerd”) that took me to a video two friends made the night before. It was Mosheh Oinounou and Todd Bowers. I did not know when I started watching how much it would bless me.
Todd poured himself a glass of bourbon and, while his dogs kept watch and took naps behind him, he began to share. Todd Bowers served twelve years in the Marine Corps, completing two tours in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, and one in South America. Before being honorably discharged, he received many awards including a Purple Heart. So he definitely had some thoughts on recent events regarding the war in Afghanistan. I don’t have any active military in my family to learn from or ask questions, so I was very interested to hear some of his stories and his perspective!
A few drinks later and when my coffee was cold, I felt an even greater appreciation for this veteran and the thousands of others who have served our country. Watching him sip his drink, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my bourbon print, “Neat” and wondered if perhaps he might like one. The thought of “buying a veteran a drink” to show my appreciation this clever way made me smile! So I reached out to him to thank him and asked if I could send him one. But the next day, the surprise was on me when I received a shop notice that Todd had purchased the print! My immediate instinct was to send him a refund of course until I read the kindest reply he had emailed. He said, in so many words, that appreciated us listening to his stories and how it really helps him too. But he appreciated the offer.
One take-away for me in this interview came towards the end, when Todd shared his thoughts on what we can say when we meet veterans instead of “Thank you for your service.” He said he’d much prefer when someone learns he’s a veteran that they say, “Hey, I’d love to hear some of your stories.” He said that being able to connect with a vet around their experience is the best way to support them.
Along with his permission, Mosheh gave me a link to their conversation so I could share it here with you. It’s about an hour long so when you have time, enjoy a cup of coffee or your drink of choice, and give it a listen. Linked here.