A Memorial Day Story to Remember


old vet

This story is submitted by Paul Dokken, we just are so blessed when any of you send us a great story like Paul did. God Bless you all! This is just a wonderful heart warming story.

As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries 
towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting 
inside the car, with the door open. The old man was looking at the engine. I put 
my groceries away in my car, and continued to watch the old gentleman from about 
twenty five feet away.
I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm walking 
towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps 
towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something. 
The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac 
Escalade. He then turned back to the old man. I heard him yell at the old 
gentleman saying: 'You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age.' 
And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the 
parking lot.
I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief, and mop his brow as he went 
back to his car and again looked at the engine. He then went to his wife and 
spoke with her; he appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough, and 
I approached the old man. He saw
me coming and stood straight, and as I got near him I said, 'Looks like you're 
having a problem.' He smiled sheepishly, and quietly nodded his head. I looked 
the hood myself, and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. 
Looking around, I saw a gas station up the road, and I told the old man that I 
would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside. I saw three 
attendants working on cars. I approached one of them, and related the problem 
the old man had with his car. I offered to pay them if they could follow me back 
down and help him.
The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to 
be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my 
help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine), I spoke with 
the old gentleman.
When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had 
commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked 
the usual question, 'What outfit did you serve with?'
He said that he served with the first Marine Division at Guadalcanal, Pelieliu, 
and Okinawa. He had hit three of the worst ones, and retired from the Corps 
after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the 
mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his 
wallet, but was stopped by me. I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA 
He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name 
and address on it, and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around 
again, and I said my goodbye's to his wife. I then told the two mechanics that I 
would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station, I told them that 
they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. 
I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me. One of them 
pulled out a card from his pocket, looking exactly like the card the old man had 
given to me. Both of the men told me then that they were Marine Corps Reserves. 
Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I 
should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove 
For some reason I had gone about two blocks, when I pulled over and took the 
card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the 
old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name was written: 
'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.' I sat there motionless, looking at the 
card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no 
one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together 
because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to 
have stood next to greatness and courage, and an honor to have been in his