Veteran’s Day is emotional for a lot of us.  Old profile images on social, loving texts from friends and family, and memories refreshed of the times that made you the person you are.  

When you sit and listen to Veterans, you can to learn a lot.  The best lesson learned from a fellow veterans was the power of saying, “I love you.”

No Shit, There I Was…

It was about midnight in Salt Lake City.   A group of five or six veterans and a handful of athletes were in town for the Outdoor Retailer Show.  The group was departing the bar for the evening in a mixture of handshakes, high fives, and bro hugs.

The most vocal of the veterans was Special Forces Green Beret veteran, Johnny Primiano.  Imagine if you will, Deadpool and Rambo genetically meshed, covered in tattoos, and a darker sense of humor.  That’s Johnny P.  As one of his friends departed, Johnny gave a hug, leaned back, looked him in the eye and said, “I love you.”  They nodded in manly agreement, then the friend departed.

One of the athletes commented, “Do you tell everybody that you love them?”

Johnny replied, “For guys like us, we know it may be the last time we see each other.   There’s no embarrassment in telling your friend that you love them.”

The comment silenced the group and eventually generated more loud, humorous commentary from Johnny. 

But that comment was probably the best lesson I learned from a fellow veteran.  Don’t be afraid to tell your friends that you love them.  Not twinkly-eyes, hands holding type of love.  It’s the “I got you man.  To Hell and back.  We’ll skip, sing Kumbaya, and crack dirty jokes the entire way. You ever need anything, I'm there for you.” kind of love.   

If you’ve made it this far, more than likely you’re a veteran or related to a veteran.  Hope you’re having a great day and take the opportunity to call your friends and tell them you love them, remind them you're always there for them, then commence with the jokes. 


Matthew Griffin