I don't know if I've mentioned it here or not, but our new home is NOT a military town. Stretch is here working with Reservists. There is no base or anything else remotely resembling active-duty living. The Marines have a building that they share with the Navy, motor pool area, and parking lot that is all enclosed by a rusty chain-link fence. So coming here, we really had no idea what to expect.
So far, Stretch has found that reception the Marines receive here is overwhelmingly supportive. In fact, they dress up once a week and wear their Charlies. They can't wear their cammies out in town but they can wear the Charlies. On several occasions, Marines have had strangers pay for their lunches while out in uniform. In fact, it happened to us just last week. L'il Sis and I met Stretch for lunch. We needed boxes and when the waitress brought them by, she let Stretch know that the gentleman at the next table had paid for our lunch. Of course, he thanked him right away and again before we left. Outside, he chalked it up to L'il Sis being so cute (okay, he said me, too, but I'm not buying that). Hmm. Yes, she's cute. But she's never gotten me a free lunch before.
It's an interesting thing. It's very nice to have someone feel appreciative of the military and want to do something nice for its members. At the same time, it felt a bit strange to be the recipient of that.