Boots On The Ground…

Inspiring moments pop up at the most unexpected times.

Courtny and I were heading home from exercising and appreciatively spending my mom’s Nordstrom notes.

We were hungry so we stopped at Benny’s Tacos in Santa Monica.

This is not a food moment.

I had read about the wholesome, fresh Mexican fare. We decided to pick up takeout.

The dogs were in the car so I stood guard while Courtny waited for the made to order items.

There was a handsome man in his late 30’s with his two adorable, blonde children lunching on the patio by my car.

We began chatting and I raised the issue of whether or not two kids were harder to handle than two dogs.

It turns out that he had served in Afghanistan and our superficial chat turned into a political and philosophical conversation.

He lived the boots on the ground experience. I asked him about the Republican “boots on the ground” obsession.


He felt that Cruz, Trump and Rubio have it all wrong. “Boots on the ground is the absolute wrong way to go.”

He confirmed my feelings that it is a failed strategy.

Just look at Iraq.

He also commented on how untrainable foreign police and army recruits are.

I asked how he seemed unscathed by serving in Afghanistan.

“Therapy…lots and lots of therapy.”

He had wanted to serve in the military since he was a boy.

He had done a complete about face.

I asked him if he thought guns were still sexy and he laughed. “NO” especially in the wrong hands.

I inquired about sexism in lands such as Afghanistan and he said he witnessed incredible ugliness toward women and girls.

He related one experience…he was talking to an Afghany policeman. A little girl of about 7 years old walked by. The Afghany policeman roughly grabbed her head scarf, pulled it off her head, blew his nose into it and then wrapped the scarf around her head.

We chatted for a bit longer. I had so many questions.

Eventually, I wished him well and thanked him for his service.

I started back into the car and he called out to me. “I wish there were more intelligent, compassionate people like you in this country.”

His comment made me pause and think how we should not be swept up by all the ugly political discourse.

I believe that the one woman running for president believes that we don’t need to make “America Great Again” because “America never stopped being great.”

Hillary Clinton recently commented that, “America only needs to become whole again. We have to fill in what’s been hollowed out. We have to make strong the broken place, restitch the bonds of trust and respect across our country.”

“Now,” Clinton said, “it might be unusual, as I’ve said before, for a presidential candidate to say this, but I’m going to keep saying it. I believe what we need in America today is more love and kindness.”

I left the encounter hopeful.

Love and compassion matter.

Seems as if many want to merely build walls when we should be tearing them down.

By the way, the Mexican food was delicious, but who knew it could provide such a satisfying experience.

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