So, I had to drive my husband to one of his appointments today. He didn't trust himself to drive because his appointment was for a "Sleep Deprived EEG" meaning he had to be awake for at least 24 hours beforehand, and no caffeine or alcohol (or nicotine, but that wasn't a problem for him) for twelve hours before. So, he had me drive him, which is fine- I'd rather drive him around with a grumpy baby that risk him falling asleep at the wheel.
Now, this was an early morning appointment. We got to the base hospital at about 7:30. I waited with him in the waiting room for about 25 minutes until it was his turn. Then I left to run some errands while he was doing his EEG.
On my way back to my car, I see two sailors in their dress whites getting ready to do morning colours (for those of you who don't know, that's what it's called when they raise the flag). I hadn't gotten out in time to hear the 5 minute warning, but as soon as I had my daughter strapped into her seat, I heard colours start.
I immediately turned to the flag, put my hand over my heart and stood there while they raised the flag, while the national anthem played, and until the bugle for "carry on" sounded.
I could've gotten into my car and driven off like the rest of the civilians. But I couldn't make myself be that disrespectful. I may not have really enjoyed being in the military (though I'd probably join again if I had to redo my life), but I still have pride in it all.
So, there, in the parking lot, with a bunch of Marines in their camis, stood a lone civilian with indigo and white hair to pay my respects while the flag was raised. I no longer had to salute, and I could've carried on like the rest of the unknowing civilians...
But old habits die hard.