This fellow Dave Duffy claims, in the Washington Post, that he’s a retired Army lieutenant colonel who is now an entrepreneur with a couple of smoothie shops. It sounds like he offers a discount to members of the military, but not their families. That decision earned one of his cashiers a rant from a family member;
Every year, Applebee’s offers a free meal to veterans, and every year, I go and have my steak, and a Coke.** I tip the waitress generally about what the price of the meal would have been.
What I don’t do on Veterans Day is drive around to every establishment that offers a free meal or a discount and suck up a ton of food.
I always forget to ask for the veterans discount at Lowe’s.
I (eagerly) volunteered to serve. And twice a month, my nation expressed its thanks to me in the form of financial compensation. That’s all the thanks I really needed. If someone wants to say thank you, and shake my hand, I’m generally left a tad discomfited, though I try to accept such thanks as gracefully as I can.
I’ll note that Mr. Duffy doesn’t even appear to offer a discount to veterans, only to first responders, and to those actually still in the service. Which is fine and dandy by me. It’s his shop, and his choice.
And his column appears to have been inspired by the spouse of a service member, more commonly referred to as a dependent. So let’s talk about that for a bit.
I’m the son of a dependent. Damn near all the moms of my friends in school were dependents. Even some of my teachers were dependents. If you serve in the military, a goodly portion of your social circle will consist of dependents.
And 90~95% of them are terrific people. They’re tough, resilient, independent (ironically, given they’re called dependents), supportive of their spouse and their spouses friends.
Then there are the others… Of course, in any large group of people, you’re bound to have some unpleasant people. People who wear their spouses rank, who game the system for every ounce of advantage rather than accepting that the life is an occasionally difficult one, who spread dissension and mistrust among the other spouses, and are just generally unpleasant.
They’re a large enough group that they’ve earned a moniker among servicemembers. “Dependapotamus-“ often shortened to merely Dependa.
Forgive me for stooping to low humor…
For those businesses that do offer a discount to families of servicemembers and veterans, I feel for you whenever you must cross paths with the Dependa.
*Which, while still leaning far to the left, has seen great improvement since Bezos bought it.
**As much as I love beer, for some odd reason, when I east steak, Coke is my preferred beverage.