Yesterday I went to the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. I knew they did some sort of military discount so when I went to the ticket booth I asked about it. The pretty girl behind the glass replied, “We do them for the Active Duty Solder.”
I have heard this before and it gets me a little upset. My husband is active duty – permanently. But me? The wife of a KIA soldier? Sorry, most places say. It’s only for the soldier.
I looked at this Coca-Cola ticket agent and said as politely as I could, “He was killed in action. But it is your decision.”
I have always been a Coke fan. I mean, a big one. I am known to have an extra large styrofoam cup from the nearest gas station or the nearest fast food restaurant filled with the fabulous beverage.
My friends even know that I try to avoid places that serve the competition. When friends give me a choice of restaurants and I choose one over the other fairly quickly – they all know why. I know the eating places that serve Coke and I know the ones that serve Pepsi I stay away from Pepsi places. Sorry. As Jesus says in Revelation, “I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Let me give you the exact quote. “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”
Or, if you want to apply this to our topic at hand: “So, because you are Pepsi, and neither Coke nor Diet Coke . . . ” Well, you get the idea.
Sorry, Pepsi. I just don’t like you. Pepsi challenge? Bring it on.
Most of the time when you ask for a Coke at a restaurant and they serve Pepsi, the waiter will actually say, “Pepsi okay?”
I say “No, no it’s not. Give me water.”
There have been occasions where the waiter doesn’t ask, but makes the false assumption that the competition is okay. When the unsuspecting waiter gives me what I believe is a Diet Coke. . . well, you know that quote from Revelation? There you have it. Embarrassing.
It’s a free country (or it is now. Jury is still out on if it will be in the future….). You can like Pepsi if you want. But to me Coke is America. It stands for the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is going into a mom and pop five and dime and heading to the old Coke fridge in the wall, dropping in some change, and getting that glass bottle of yumminess. It is baseball games and picnics in the park. It is walking three miles in the summer with the neighborhood kids to Don’s Market in Seymour, Tennessee and walking back with an ice-cold Coke and a ring pop.
It is taking Coke across the world for a piece of America. It is taking Coke to the overseas GIs fighting for this country for a little America The Coke people even had a big display at the World of Coke saying how much Coke did to bring their product to the GI – a taste of home they said.
I even got teary-eyed watching a few videos in the World of Coke. My friend Monica who was with me thought I was nuts. I did too. I didn’t even tell my child. Who wants a mom crying over Coke?
One ad said, “You are the secret ingredient for Coke.” I thought about all those trips to the gas station. I thought about walking to Don’s Market. I thought about pulling in to the Burger King in Plymouth, New Hampshire for days and years after my husband was killed and getting a large Diet Coke. No, the Coke didn’t make my pain go away, but it was something. It was something.
And then when they played that famous video, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.”
Tears. Yes, I am a nerd.
But I would! I really would like to buy the world a Coke. “Hey, world, here is a little something from a girl in America. She loves God and her country. And she wants to give you a little taste of freedom.”
Anyone ever see anyone with a cold bottle of Coke in their hands wearing a frown?
So back to me at the World of Coke, standing at the ticket counter.
The ticket lady stared at me for a minute and then proceeded to go through with the transaction. When she handed me my receipt, she said, “I gave you the discount.”
I thanked her and moved on. I still had no idea what this discount was. When I finally looked at my receipt I had only paid for my son’s ticket. The discount for the soldier is getting in for free. Coke gave me my ticket for free.
The girl at Coke recognized what I recognize daily. Now that my husband is not here, I am the soldier. I fight to keep my attitude joyful. I fight for my finances to remain what they were when my husband was killed. I fight for my life to be as normal as possible. I fight for my son and I to have good memories together as a family. I fight for my child who has no father to be a responsible, God-fearing man. I fight for God to be part of our lives without the leader of the family here. I fight. I fight daily.
Thanks Coca-Cola, for hiring people who have a sense of the sacrifice that has been made. Thanks for honoring our military, our fallen, and their families.
And now, after my experience with a pretty girl behind the ticket counter at the World of Coke in Atlanta, the display about the military, and reminding me that I really do want to buy the world a Coke, I am even more of a Coke fan that I was before.
So when you read this, even if you like the other guy, go out and buy a Coke. Buy a Coke and lift it up because it is a piece of America and that piece of America honors the fallen and their families.
Go Coke. Go America. May God bless you.