Wife's family friend is on a 2 week leave here in Vegas with his wife and 4 year old boy. While in town, they called us today, and came by the house and hung out while. I got to show him some toys, which of course he marveled at ("They don't issue these!") It was an informative experience, as this was the first person i've talked with anyone face to face about their experiences in Iraq.
He's a combat medic, so not a front line guy, but he hears the mortars and small arms fire frequently. He's taken fire while on patrol in a Hummer. His base has had at least one suicide bomber attempt. He described his life at the base, and told of two friends he lost.
Made my perspective change even more, talking to him. I was worried about some things at work today, and my gas being over $3 a gallon. He worries about sniper fire on the roads, and not seeing his 4 year old boy again.
I made several offers to give him equipment, clothing, anything that I thought that could help, but he just politely declined. It's nice to get a good kick in the pants and to put things in perspective.