A Humbling Experience

Posted: September 30, 2012 in General
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I went to visit the family in their new home this weekend.  They are getting the jump on me by a couple of years and getting settled into the area we want to end up in when I retire in just a couple of years.  We have been in our house in Fayetteville for 17 years this last September, with me being here for a total of 18.  With just a couple of years to go until that wonderful day until I retire, I get out to Asheville as often as possible to spend time with the family.

My wife and kids who obviously have a much broader view of the Asheville area than I do, have been bragging about how well they have been treated everywhere as military ID card holders.  They get a military discount at about 90% of the places they visit.  There has not been a restaurant, park or local business that has not extended a military discount simply by asking.  Keep in mind, this is a city and surrounding area that has a great economy, mostly year round from tourism.  There is not a large military installation associated with the city, unlike my current area of the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg.  Asheville also takes pride in the promotion of local businesses and businesses that promote the local economy and agriculture.  Fayetteville, makes an effort at getting the national chains into the economy, but there is no where near the level of local business growth that there is in Asheville.  Even the downtown district, which has come a long, long way from the Rick’s Lounge days pales in comparison to the Asheville downtown atmosphere and the crowd that is there every night of the week.

Locally, here in Fayetteville, Asheville is known as a bastion of liberal ideals and the Democratic party run-amok.  In my exposure to the area, that is not quite true.  There is quite a bit of the patchouli, dread-lock crowd, but there is also quite a large sector that works hard at building the local economy and providing for the citizens as best possible.  Fayetteville on the other hand has a disjointed central government which usually only offers lip-service to local businesses, often extending better breaks in deals to bring outside business in as a means of growth, rather than giving local, struggling business what they need.

So lets go back to the military discount thing because I am about to get to my humbling experience.  Fayetteville, a city that not quite reliant on Fort Bragg, is indelibly tied to it.  The big chains sometime extend a discount, especially around national holidays.  Some businesses that are veteran owned do it as a matter of passing it on, but the overwhelming feeling in my mind is Fayetteville as a city could care less.

So after hearing about all the places my wife and kids have received a discount for being military related, I got to witness it for myself last night.  My wife and I went to one of the local movie theatres, a Regal cinema which does not provide the discount by the way.  While we were waiting for the movie to begin, we went to a restaurant right next door for some appetizers and a drink.  When we were ready to pay the bill, the bartender asks the night manager if there is a military discount available.  The night manager turns to the person seated right next to me who seems to be one of the restaurant’s bigwigs and asks the same as the bartender.  The bigwig says “of course” and that it is 10%.  The night manager, proceeds to shake my hand and thank me for my service.  After he was done with the bill, he again shakes my hand and thanks me as well my wife and informs me that he has not only given us the 10% but personally charged off a round for us.  We spoke for a few minutes as he was finishing up behind the bar and said it was an honor, without people like me doing the job that we do, he would not have the freedom to do the job that he does, or something to that effect.  This coming from a kid, barely out of college and definitely from that bastion of liberal ideals.

Those who know me, know that I am seldom at a loss for words.  The most I could muster up was a heartfelt thank you, and a tip commensurate with the original bill.  There may be times when I say nothing because it is the prudent thing to do, there are times when I realize after the fact that maybe I should have kept my jaws shut.  The times when I honestly have nothing to say are few and very far between.  So with close to 24 hours to think about it, I am going to repay that kindness with a little bit of good press for Trivinia and the awesome staff that works there.  They have great Italian food, serve as much local produce as possible and are definitely a military friendly establishment.  As great as that experience was, it was not unique to the area.

For all my military people, active duty and retired, you can do a lot worse than visit the area and take advantage of all it has to offer.  Outdoors, indoors, local breweries and so much more.  Do not hesitate to bring your ID card and use it, it is welcome.

  1. It always feels good to have your efforts appreciated, doesn’t it?


  2. Storm M. Silvermane says:

    That is awesome. Another reason for Angel and I to go there, even though not military we are both very adamant about supporting the military service people


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