Letter to the Editor 

Photo by Raiza Giorgi

I have been meaning to send a message regarding the Solvang Fourth of July parade. I had a heart-warming moment as the parade was just starting.

While I was waiting in my Humvee at the driveway to fall in behind the Jeeps, a little girl, probably 8 or 9 years old, came up to me and said she wanted to thank me for our service, and shake my hand.

I shook her hand and thanked her. I saw that her mom was standing by a few feet away and appeared to appreciate us as well, along with being proud of her daughter. I thought later that I should have tried to get the little girl’s name so that our military vehicle club, the “Flat Fender Friends,” could show her and her mom some appreciation as well. But as parades go, they just melted back into the crowd of spectators.

Later that day I was thinking about that little girl and her mom, and how that simple gesture of appreciation for our service made me feel. As a service member during the Vietnam War era, we saw none of this upon our return. In fact it was quite the opposite, as you well know.

Every year that we participate in the Solvang Fourth of July parade, I always come away with a renewed sense of pride and patriotism, but this year was made extra special by that little girl and her mom. I will never forget this one.

John Kinney

Santa Maria