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DJ's Lunchbox: Chew On This!

Five Guys burgers & fries
(Photo by DJ Pridemore, CBSDFW.COM)

As I sit in the dining area at my local Las Colinas Five Guys and Fries burger joint,  I stare down at the totally customizable beauty before me and revel in its juicy greatness! Not too many things can top a beautiful day, and a double cheeseburger with bacon in hand!

If you haven't been to a Five Guys yet, there are several locations to serve you! I Highly recommend getting Bacon, grilled onions, and the Cajun style fries!

Just a heads up, if you are eating alone, the small fries are still too much for one person! They are very generous with everything at this burger haven!

Fresh juicy patties cooked on a flat top grill, topped with plenty of oozing premium American cheese, and a plethora of FREE toppings to customize your sandwich however you like!

Mine had mayo, lettuce, pickle, grilled onion, bacon, jalapeno and A-1 sauce!

Another item that they are not stingy about is napkins! And thank goodness! Without a proper burger diaper, the delectable drippings would be lost to the floor or your favorite shirt via your forearm and elbow!

Every last morsel of these very traditional burgers make you proud to be a part of such a great country to have made the humble Hamburger sandwich a staple of the modern American palate.

And as I sit, burger juices marching down my forearms, I look to the next table over and see something else very American, very traditional and very important to me. A Veteran.

Every time I see one of these fine gentlemen or ladies, I take the time to thank them and ask about their service. And as I write this on 8th May 2013, I am willing to bet that most of the readers have long forgotten the significance of this date other than the Google Doodle that is commemorating Saul Bass' 93rd birthday.

No, something else great happened on this day, and the veteran I had the pleasure of eating next to was in Europe on this day in 1945, in which, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.

I also harken back to almost a month ago on April 18th when I was eating another Five Guys burger in Fort Walton Beach, FL. That trip, I had the pleasure of talking burgers with several great men. Namely 3 of the four surviving members of the Doolittle raid which occurred 71 years previous to my meeting them and discussing why the Five Guys burger reminded them of their favorite lunch counter meal in the 40's.

I also had the extreme pleasure of chatting with some Pearl Harbor survivors! One of my grandfathers and several uncles fought along side these men in the Navy. My other grandfather was a soldier in the U.S. Army and carried to war in the very Ships these men served and defended.

The one constant between generations is an admiration for burgers and our heroes, these men being very humbled that anyone recognize them as heroes. I was honored to share a burger and burger stories with all of these gentlemen, and I hope that everyone takes a moment to hear one of their stories.

If you'd like to hear some of the stories that I do not have the space to share myself straight from the source, I encourage you to get a copy of "PEARL HARBOR, One last goodbye" Produced and funded by Elizabeth J. Watkins.

It journals a few Pensacola, Fl survivors, of whom I had the great pleasure of meeting, on their return to Pearl Harbor in December of 2011, 70 years after that day of infamy.  They share their stories which sadly cannot be found in our schools history books. I won't get too deep into the history here, but please check out the documentary and hear the history from the source! Check it out HERE!

You are probably wondering what meeting these WWII veterans has to do with my Five Guys double cheeseburger with Bacon. I had mentioned that I had the pleasure of eating alongside them. I now leave you with this story...

I asked these men what they though about most during the War, and almost unanimously they responded, "Getting back to loved ones (Mothers, Children, Wives, or Girlfriends) and after wrapping their arms around them, wrapping their hands around a good old-fashioned AMERICAN Cheeseburger much like we were enjoying together, right there in the dining room of  Five Guys Burgers and Fries!"

Life IS Delicious! Eat it! And Thank Your Veterans!

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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