In the late 1970s when I was a young PFC fresh out of Military Police School, the Marine Corps sent me to Camp Pendleton via LAX. The bus from LAX dropped me in downtown Oceanside and I had no instructions on how to get to the base. So there I was…21 years old and a LONG way from small town North Dakota in my uniform with heels, lugging a packed seabag plus a suitcase. I had no idea what to do.
Just then, a car pulled up and out jumps a female who asks where I’m headed. After I told her my situation, she motioned for her boyfriend to pop the trunk and said, “Don’t worry, I’m stationed at the MP Battalion and we’ll take you where you need to go”.
They checked me in and delivered me right to my new barracks. It was such a sense of relief that I NEVER forgot their kindness.
Fast forward 33 years.
Today I rented a car when I arrived in San Diego to see friends and family. Next to me, a young woman was told she would not be able to get the car her boyfriend had reserved for her while he was in Iraq. It was her first trip to San Diego, he had arranged the whole trip, and she was at a loss what to do.
Remembering my Oceanside experience, I jumped at the chance to return the favor to someone in need. We had a great chat in the driving rain, I told her a little about the area, and she shared her excitement about the weekend and his return from Iraq. She thanked me profusely upon delivering her to her destination in Oceanside.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to do for someone else what was done for me so long ago. I hope Ashley & Steven have a great weekend, and they have a chance to pay it forward to someone else in their future!