No matter how much I complain or whine about being a server, the reality of the job is that it is a very easy one compared to many other professions. Who would argue that taking orders and delivering food could even remotely compare to what a firefighter or a cop has to do each day? There are so many jobs out there that I would never be able to do and thank god there are people who are willing to do them. One of those jobs is that of a veteran and today is the day we honor them.
My brother is a veteran as was my grandfather and my uncle. They all spent time away from their loved ones in order to serve our country. Me, I’ll just stick to serving pancakes. When my younger brother decided to join the army when he was about 19, I could not fathom why on earth he wanted to do it. He looked at it as an opportunity while I looked at it as the scariest thing I could possibly imagine. But he joined and stayed in the military for about 6 years. It was scary for me to think that he was so far away in Korea somewhere and not knowing if he was safe or not, but how selfish of me to be scared when he was the one who was away from home, not me. I was living my life doing whatever I wanted to do while he was being the mature one and doing something I was too frightened to even consider. The only way I might be able to serve our country is if they let me sing in some USO Show or something. When he first came home after his first several months away, I was amazed at the change in him. He left as a 19 year old kid and came back as a grown man. I will never get over that transformation. Whenever I go to my parent’s house and see the photo of him in his uniform, I am reminded what a brave choice he made. He chose to protect our country and I chose to be a musical theater major. We could not be more different.
Today is Veterans Day; it’s the day we honor those who made that brave choice that so many of us wouldn’t. It’s the day we say thank you to them and show our appreciation for their service. Lots of restaurants in the country offer free meals to military personnel and I hope each and every veteran takes advantage of it. Here is a list of dozens of restaurants around the country that will offer veterans free food; anything from a free steak dinner to a free cup of coffee.
Here’s the thing though, veterans: even though serving in the military is way harder than serving at Applebee’s or IHOP (well, I dunno, I hear the overnight shift at IHOP can be brutal…), we all know that you will remember to tip your servers, right? The restaurant is giving the food away for free, but the waiters and waitresses can’t really afford to give away their service for free too. Please remember to tip your server, even if there is no bill. I would bet that working at Applebee’s on Veterans Day is a very busy shift albeit a rewarding one. However, no one who serves, whether it be in Iraq or Olive Garden, wants to do it for free. As the restaurant thanks you for your service, please make sure to tip your server for theirs.
Happy Veterans Day and thank you for doing what you do.