Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Gratitude is a wonderful thing, and one thing I have always been grateful for is the men and women who risk their lives serving our country. Thank you All!!

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage
compartment and sat down in my
assigned seat. It was going to be a
long flight. 'I'm glad I have a
good book to read Perhaps I will get
a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of
soldiers came down the aisle and
filled all the vacant seats, totally
surrounding me.. I decided to
start a conversation.
'Where are you headed?' I asked
the soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two
weeks for special training, and then
we're being deployed to Afghanistan

After flying for about an hour, an
announcement was made that sack
lunches were available for five
dollars. It would be several hours
before we reached the east, and I
quickly decided a lunch would help
pass the time..

As I reached for my wallet, I
overheard soldier ask his buddy if
he planned to buy lunch.
'No, that seems like a lot of money
for just a sack lunch.
Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks.
I'll wait till we get to base '

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other
soldiers. None were buying lunch. I
walked to the back of the plane and
handed the flight attendant a
fifty dollar bill.
'Take a lunch to all those soldiers..'
She grabbed my arms and squeezed
tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she
thanked me. 'My son was a
soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like y
ou are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up
the aisle to where the soldiers
were seated. She stopped at my seat
and asked, 'Which do you like
best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why
she asked. She turned and went to
the front of plane, returning a
minute later with a dinner plate from
first class. 'This is your thanks..'

After we finished eating, I went
again to the back of the plane,
heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me. 'I saw what you
did. I want to be part of it.
Here, take this.' He handed me
twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I
saw the Flight Captain coming down
the aisle, looking at the aisle
numbers as he walked, I hoped he was
not looking for me, but noticed he
was looking at the numbers only on
my side of the plane.
When he got to my row he stopped,
smiled, held out his hand, an said,
'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I
stood and took the Captain's hand..
With a booming voice he said, 'I was
a soldier and I was a military pilot..
Once, someone bought me a lunch.
It was an act of kindness I
never forgot.' I was embarrassed
when applause was heard from all of
the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the
plane so I could stretch my legs.
A man who was seated about six rows
in front of me reached out his
hand, wanting to shake mine. He left
another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my
belongings and started to deplane.
Waiting just inside the airplane door
was a man who stopped me, put
something in my shirt pocket, turned,
and walked away without saying a
word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the
soldiers gathering for their trip to the
base. I walked over to them
and handed them seventy-five dollars.
'It will take you some time to
reach the base. It will be about time
for a sandwich.
God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight
feeling the love and respect of their
fellow travelers. As I walked
briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer
for their safe return.
These soldiers were giving their all for
our country.. I could only
give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little....

A veteran is someone who, at one
point in his life, wrote a blank check
made payable to 'The United States of
America ' for an amount of 'up to and
including My life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too
many people in this country who
no longer understand it.'


Olde Baggs n Stuft Shirts by LindaOma said...

Oh my. I am so glad I followed the yellow brick road of serendipity to your blog. Thank you for this post. I would like you to follow to mine and know that I am a kindred spirit in so many ways. My daughter and her two youngster 9 and 5 and my husband and I are followers of the olde way and also very proud Amercians. Thanks so much for this, I would like to pass it on to others if possible. I will wait for your permission. Hope you are having a wonderful "vacation". Linda in New Mexico

Dirgesinger said...

Oh that is so beautiful.