The crew came through on Friday night and spent the night, then returned on Monday night for dinner and a night's respite. I fed them a hearty dinner and two breakfasts during that time, and sent home two of them with doggy bags. I love feeding people who appreciate Indonesian cooking. :)
Here are my observations about that time with these young men (ranging in ages from 19 - 27).
- They were extremely well mannered (as one would expect from those who serve in the military). Every sentence began or ended with "yes, ma'am" or "thank you, ma'am" or "please, ma'am." It was music to my ears! NEVER ONCE did any of them call me by my first name. They knew I was not their friend; I was an elder.
- They were tidy; clothes and towels were not strewn all over the room.
- They made their beds after sleeping.
- They put their dirty dishes in the sink.
- One of them WASHED ALL MY POTS AND PANS after breakfast.
- They ate what was put before them, never complaining if they didn't like something, but rather were appreciative of a home cooked meal. They never raided my refrigerator or panty without asking.
- They never complained that they had to sleep on the floor or the couch; they were appreciative of not having to spend what little money they had getting a hotel room.
- Did I mention they had EXQUISITE MANNERS?!
Now, compare this list with my experience volunteering with the junior high photo session today:
- They refused to listen to directions.
- They sneered openly at my attempts to direct them.
- They never failed to correct me if they thought I was incorrect.
- They never once called me "ma'am" or thanked me or said "please."
(Can you tell that I'm a stickler for manners?)
I detest that there appear to be generations of young people that don't seem to know the meaning of the word manners. They don't respect their elders or authority figures, and they don't respect themselves or others. They call elders by their first names. They think they are entitled to money and luxuries and don't believe they should work for anything.
It disgusts me and infuriates me, and I staunchly and vehemently rebel against any sort of bad behavior like that directed at me or others. My children are embarrassed by their peers who behave badly.
So when I am surrounded by a group of tidy, well-groomed, mannerly young men like my nephew and his buddies, I feel as if I have found buried treasure.
Sad, isn't it? That well-mannered young people should be the exception rather than the rule?
It was an honor to serve these young men who serve our country. They love their country, they love their families, and they would die for our freedom.
Please tell me there are others like them.
Ponder that, my friends.