words & actions & marines: part 2

Part two of words & actions & marines is about actions.  And about a Marine.

On my way into work a homeless Marine walks by one of the stoplights near downtown.

He is polite. He holds a sign. And he doesn’t say anything unless you ask him something.

I saw his semper fi tattoo the first time I gave him a dollar bill as he leaned over to take it.

I said “you are a Marine” that first time.

He smiled and said “yes. I am.”  And said thank you for the money and moved on.

So now every time I am stopped at that light.  And he happens to be there I will give him some money.


This Friday he reminded me of honor … the kind of honor that somehow they seem to instill sometime from basic training to maybe when they become a true Marine.

I didn’t have a one dollar bill when I saw him Friday.

So when I called him over I gave him a $5 bill. Once again he said thanks and moved on.

All of a sudden he was back at my window.

He stood away from the window politely and said “sir. This isn’t a one.” And held out the $5 for me to take back.

I told him it was fine.  I hadn’t made a mistake.

All he said was “you are too kind. Thank you.”


I don’t want to make too big a deal about this but c’mon. The dude is homeless. He is absolutely down on his luck.  He has obviously had a hard time of it.  And he is checking to make sure I didn’t make a mistake.

And, yes, I know not all Marines have this level of honor.


Yes … but. But it was a Marine this time.

And his actions spoke volumes of words with regard to being a Marine.  And character. And character in the face of adversity.

And he will get a $5 bill if I see him again.

Written by Bruce