Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude

"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow."

-Edward Sandford Martin

I watched an absolutely magical thing happen last Saturday. More importantly my kids initiated and then witnessed a beautiful moment unfold in front of their young and impressionable eyes. It was one of those simple moments that gives you faith in mankind, hope for future generations and occasionally sparks a movement that sweeps across nations, oceans and continents.

Our weekend started like so many others, with a family tradition....morning donuts at Rose’s Cafe in San Clemente. My boys picked out their favorites and we all sat down to enjoy a sweet, albeit unhealthy breakfast. Being so close to Camp Pendleton it’s not uncommon to see Marines out in town. When possible I try to make it a point to have my boys shake their hands and thank them for their service... something my father did when I was young that I’ve never forgotten. This morning however was a bit different...

As we sat and planned the day, an entire caravan of Humvees and support vehicles, probably ten or more, pulled into the parking lot directly in front of us. Marines exited and then began to solemnly file into the donut shop. My wife quietly reached into her purse and pulled out twenty dollars and handed it to my 8 year old son. Logan didn’t miss a beat, walking straight up to the cashier an informing her that this was for the line of Marines now stretching out the door... The cashier announced that this young boy was paying for their donuts (at least twenty dollars worth) and that’s when the magic happened!

A man in his fifties standing nearby pulled twenty dollars out and handed it to the cashier, then a woman with a small child did the same. A group of contractors walked in from outside and passed a wad of money over the counter and then a young girl in a jogging suit followed their lead. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced... One by one the ten or twelve patrons inside and outside the cafe stepped forward and “gave thanks” by offering a token of their gratitude and appreciation to those who give so much for us each and every day.

The culmination of this event was when a man in his seventies walked through the door and handed over a one hundred-dollar bill. The cashier informed him that the tab was by now more than covered to which he replied “then keep it for the next soldier that walks through your door today”. I looked at my son and said “see what you started?” Tears welled in his eyes and mine.

Don’t Get Lost In The Stuffing

You see, as Americans, we are so blessed. Too blessed, one could argue. It’s so easy to get lost in all that we have, that we lose sight of the extraordinary freedoms that have been bestowed upon us by the sacrifices of those who serve. We become so focused on our own lives, paying the mortgage, taking care of our children or obsessing about the upcoming Black Friday sale that we forget the men and women who make all of it possible. The service members, firemen, police officers and countless others who allow us to lead our busy, comfortable, safe and often “me” focused lives.

When I sit down with my family and loved ones on Thursday, I’m going to say a prayer and think about the men and women who made this moment possible. The ones who allow me to feel safe and secure while I enjoy a wonderful meal and great conversation. I’m going to think about the families with heavy hearts and empty seats at their tables. I’m going to think about the servicemen and servicewomen in Afghanistan and parts unknown sitting down without their families to celebrate Thanksgiving. And I’m going to think about the heroes here at home who provide the emergency care, blanket of protection and security that we all too often take for granted.

“No, this Thanksgiving I am not thankful… I’m eternally blessed and grateful.”

Heres the thing...It doesn't take a Herculean effort to say “thank you” to the men and women who provide the umbrella of security and foundation of freedom upon which this country stands. It can be as simple as a handshake and an offer of gratitude or a box of donuts. It’s not the gift, it’s the gesture that matters.

It Begins with a Spark

So this Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving from this date forward, my family is starting a new tradition, one that I hope takes hold, spreads like wildfire and engulfs a nation. It’s our way of saying thank you to the men and women actively defending, securing and providing lifesaving service to this great nation.

This Thanksgiving I don’t want to start a tradition, I want to start a revolution. Let me be the first to pay it forward…

I’ve included my email below… For the first five people who email me in response to this post, my family and I will make a $20 donation to the military, fire service or police charity of your choice, in your honor, or in the honor of any active-duty service member, police officer, firefighter or EMS professional you choose. I will respond with a return email verifying the donation.

Let’s show those who are actively supporting our county how truly thankful we are this Thanksgiving….I’m encouraging those who are able, to pay it forward in their own way. Facilitate a donation, host a service member for Thanksgiving dinner, send a care package to a soldier overseas, adopt a military family for the holidays, drop baked goods by a local fire station, buy a cup of coffee for a police officer or send a Christmas card or Thank You note to a soldier at home, abroad or in a medical facility like Walter Reed.

Let’s start something truly wonderful as we kick off this season and let those who are actively supporting all of us know that a grateful nation stands in admiration and recognition of their service and sacrifice.

“Please” leave a response in the comments section below and let us know the special way you’ve honored those who are actively serving. My hope is that one good idea will spawn the next like a wave of goodwill and gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Scott Seymour & Family
scottgovx@gmail.com



About Scott Seymour

The son of an avid outdoorsman and early waterman, Scott Seymour was born into an adventurous lifestyle. Having spent most of his formative years along the remote beaches of Baja California and the dusty backroads of nearly every mountain range on the western edge of North America he understands what its like to live off the beaten path and on the road less travelled. Those early years were spent diving, surfing, fishing, mountaineering, exploring, prospecting and getting lost and found literally and figuratively on a regular basis. While an atypical childhood it may have been, it forged an adventurous spirit and a thirst for life that has continued to guide him through adulthood.

As a collegiate volleyball player at UCLA, Scott developed a passion for teamwork and helping others meet their maximum potential. He went on to build a successful career leading and managing highly efficient sales teams for various national and global organizations. In 2008, feeling that familiar yearning for adventure he made a career 180 and for the past several years has worked as a bail and recovery agent in Southern California. Scott is also a registered EMT and first responder and will be starting the fire academy in January of this year with the goal of becoming a paramedic.

A self proclaimed “gear junkie” Scott can still be found most days researching and testing new equipment and strategies while stand up paddling, surfing or exploring the coastlines of Southern California or Mexico.

He resides in San Clemente with his wife and two junior watermen.

Leave a comment:

Henry G.

11/21/2014 6:50 PM

I am a disabled Air Force veteran who retired some 21 years ago & it always brings a tear to my eyes when I see the people flying their American Flags on veteran holidays & when citizens stop & say "Thanks for your service". From one vet to another let's keep on remembering those still wearing the uniform that cannot get home this Thanksgiving & Christmas deserve the "Thanks" too! My our good Lord protect you and hopefully he will bring you back home real soon so we can say THANK YOU in person!

Jeffrey C.

11/22/2014 8:36 AM

I enjoyed reading the kind words and the amazing things that you are teaching your kids. Too many people these days really don't care much for any type of service member or the service and protection they do provide. Its very touching what happened at the donut shop with your son and the Marines. Thank you for setting a good example, you have made a difference. I hope more realize that you don't have to wear a uniform in order to do that. Yes that simple hand shake or kind word means so much.

Michael K.

11/22/2014 5:20 PM

Good story, as a 9 yr military vet myself I would like to thank you for you and your families gesture in that shop. As you said hearing things like this restores my faith in America.

Mario L.

11/22/2014 8:20 PM

Lest we forget, we will be doomed to repeat history and horrible mistakes... I retired in 2005, but would serve another 100 years for this great land if I could. I well up with pride whenever I see old glory flying. I'm filled with pride when I see men and women in uniform bowing their heads in prayer to our almighty God...

Anthony N.

11/25/2014 8:15 AM

I'm a SSgt in the USAF currently in Afghanistan. Thank you for what you and your family do for our folks. It's that kind of stuff that helps remind us that people support us and that people are still teaching their families to have a strong moral character. Keep it up and thank YOU for what you are doing.

Wes K.

11/25/2014 9:29 AM

Scott, Thanks so much for the wonderful story. Those unexpected moments are truely "life lessons"! Thank you also for sharing what we all should know but usually ignore, that it takes more than our own self-centered world to make it all work. Too often we don't say thank you or show the simple respect to those in uniform who risk so much so we can be safe. Thanks for pointing these things out, GOD bless your family and thanks for the reminder!

Rosemary D.

11/25/2014 11:44 AM

Beautiful! So Thankful for those that are remembering to teach and share that things that are still life giving, and eternal principles! Thank you! My husband and I both work for the Fire Department and are both very proud of the men and women who serve our country to ensure our freedoms! I pray we all keep remembering them, and letting them know! Good luck in all your endeavors!

Mark N.

11/25/2014 2:38 PM

I was stationed in Iceland in 78-79. No cellphone, no internet. We had one phone call a month at 0dark30. Many Icelanders made a point to treat us as uninvited guests, which we were. On Christmas I was part of a small group that was invited to celebrate at the home of the Mayor of Keflavik. We were treated to a traditional roast lamb dinner. Several times we were assisted by good folks when we buried my little truck up to the axles in snow. There are good people in this world if we are looking. Happy Thanksgiving!

Robert N.

11/25/2014 4:50 PM

Scott, as a police officer I really appreciate what you and your family are doing. It's not the gift that gives us pleasure, but as you said it's the gesture. I too am greatful for the men and women who serve this county and allow me to do the job I enjoy doing. Thank you again and my you and your family have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season! Keep up the great work you and the staff at GOV X do for all of us in this industry.

Scott S.

11/25/2014 6:57 PM

I am humbled beyond words by the response and the kind words regarding this post and others I have written here on GovX. It is such an amazing honor to be able to pay tribute to “you” the incredible men and women who serve and sacrifice on behalf of our great nation. Until the day I am no longer able, I will strive everyday to put pen to paper and fingers to keys in a manner that dignifies and honors you in the manner you so thoroughly deserve. Thank you for this opportunity and thank you to the first five individuals who so promptly replied to my email regarding this post. As promised, my family and I will be making the donations mentioned above. I encourage everyone to continue to honor all who serve this season in whatever manner possible. Let’s embrace them as they have embraced us. A “very” Happy Thanksgiving to all - Scott

Robert C.

11/26/2014 7:40 AM

Thank you, Scott. I remember Thanksgiving 1990 and the desert sand in my food that year... (SpeedBump 3/9, 1st MarDiv) R. Clark

Art r.

11/26/2014 10:55 AM

Wonderful gesture. God bless the greatest nation on earth and those that protect her. Thank You

Karen B.

11/26/2014 7:04 PM

Scott, Thanks so much for this. Serving in a local Sheriff's Office since 1986 and being married to a family that all served in the USMC, I too have my children thanking those we see in uniform. I know all too well sincere Thanks comes few and far between. Keep up the great teachings with your children as I will mine. Praying for your tradition to take hold over the entire U.S. God Speed.

David J. B.

11/27/2014 9:41 AM

Awesome stories here at Govx! Thank you all for sharing. It makes me so proud to be a Veteran.

David J. B.

11/27/2014 9:41 AM

Awesome stories here at Govx! Thank you all for sharing. It makes me so proud to be a Veteran.

Clark C.

11/27/2014 5:45 PM

That is one of the coolest stories I've herd in a long time and one cool kid too

Ronald W.

11/27/2014 6:30 PM

I appreciate stories like this. Unfortunately most of my time in the service 64-84 military personnel, especially Viet vets, were treated with contempt and revulsion. I'm ashamed with myself for being envious of treatment now shown the military.

Ronald W.

11/27/2014 6:30 PM

I appreciate stories like this. Unfortunately most of my time in the service 64-84 military personnel, especially Viet vets, were treated with contempt and revulsion. I'm ashamed with myself for being envious of treatment now shown the military.

Sarah M.

11/27/2014 7:05 PM

Brings tears to my eyes and restores my faith in Americans. I hope what you and your sons did will catch on like wild fire. As an Army veteran, any way I can support the military is important to me. I am on a yellow-ribbon committee for the military at my place of work. We have veterans and reservists employed at the Department of Corrections. We do fundraising for gift packages throughout the year and this year we are fundraising for two of our veterans to be able to travel up north and train with the Camp Ripley Color Guard, so when they are asked to attend former veteran employee's funerals they have the proper attire and gear to be in the Color Guard. Thank You for your Pay it Forward act of gratitude! S. Meyers

Michael R.

11/27/2014 7:37 PM

I am a Vietnam vet. It really makes me feel good to see our current service personnel, and our current vets, being honored by our civilian population. When I came home I was treated like filth. People spat on the uniform. Verbal, and physical, disrespect and aggression. I was lucky. The 5 or 6 times I got into bar fights because of slanders against soldiers, the "arresting officer" was a Vietnam Vet and cut me loose instead of taking me to jail. It is comforting to know that service people today are receiving proper respect.

ira n.

11/27/2014 7:56 PM

Scott, I am a retired submarine sailor. During the annual Oyster Festival a few years ago I was wearing one of my Uss Carp t shirts.A stranger walked up and asked if I had served aboard the Carp. I said yes. He shook my hand and thanked me for my service. I was honored by this jesture. I never really thought about what I did as something special,just a job for many years at low pay but good benefits. I think differently now. I thank todays guys when I meet them. Most weren,t even born when I served. Paying forward is a good thing. It helps those away from home know we back here are thinking of them and gives them a reason as to why they are doing thier "job".

Ernie R.

11/28/2014 7:35 AM

Great story Scott, thanks for sharing that with us. I am a Captain with the City of Federal Heights Fire Department north of Denver Colorado. I have 35 years of service and it always warms my heart when someone stops us to say thanks for all that you do. That in itself is an awesome gesture that the guys really appreciate hearing especially during the holidays when most people are home celebrating with their families. People don't realize that during these happy times for most, that the EMS tragedies and unfortunate fire incidents still occur and we get to deal with them while we are away from our families. Thanks again and Happy Holidays to all!

Ernie R.

11/28/2014 7:35 AM

Great story Scott, thanks for sharing that with us. I am a Captain with the City of Federal Heights Fire Department north of Denver Colorado. I have 35 years of service and it always warms my heart when someone stops us to say thanks for all that you do. That in itself is an awesome gesture that the guys really appreciate hearing especially during the holidays when most people are home celebrating with their families. People don't realize that during these happy times for most, that the EMS tragedies and unfortunate fire incidents still occur and we get to deal with them while we are away from our families. Thanks again and Happy Holidays to all!

John R.

11/29/2014 1:31 PM

Thank you and your family from a Vietnam Vet, we didn't get that kind of a welcome when we came home. I make it a point to thank those who are serving today.

Randal S.

12/1/2014 11:49 AM

Thank you brother for sharing this!! It made my day.

Edward S.

12/4/2014 12:00 PM

Very heart warming.

Charles W.

1/15/2015 9:04 AM

Awesome!!!!!!!