A Hero’s Welcome Home

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Most of the time I enjoy this business but then there are rare times when I experience something that, for a few moments, goes beyond joy. Here’s what happened…

One of our own hometown heroes, Chris, a young man who grew up here recently returned to Divine from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he’d seen action and earned a purple heart while pulling several of his fellow soldiers to safety.

For a time, he’d worked as a bar-back at the Pony and I came to know him as a humble, well-brought up young man. I wasn’t a bit surprise to hear he’d enlisted in the Army, nor was I surprised to hear he was a hero.

Some of his buddies had decided to take him out to the Dancing Pony for, according to them, a ‘relaxing evening.’ Chris was in uniform which I found out later was his buddies’ idea. When they walked in, all heads–meaning men and women–turned to look.

10525714_10152951004782729_3497719901367609341_nWithout prompting, everyone in the club came up and thanked him, one-by-one. The men all offered to pay his tab for the evening, and all the single ladies–and I do mean ALL–came up and asked him to dance. It was a beautiful thing.

A waitress overheard one young woman say, “Chris, you don’t need that uniform to make me melt.” He did seem to dance with that particular young lady more than the others, but they all kept him busy that night.

All of us behind the bar, the bouncers, waitresses, everyone in the club had a tear in their eye or a lump in their throat every time they caught a glimpse of him in his uniform, humble but proud to serve, and glad to be home for a while.

We salute all men and women who have served, no matter the year, or the conflict. Thank You.

Cheers y’all!

All material copyright © Heather Rainier 2015