Thank you, Veterans…

GRIN # 292

A tribute to veterans…this one made cry. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I hope it is. Thank you, veterans, for all you do for our country:

The Sack Lunch

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 a 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 you 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 and 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.’

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5 Responses to “Thank you, Veterans…”

  1. It made me cry too!!!!! God bless all the Veterans.

  2. Thanks for the tear-jerker warning. I knew to put off reading this post until an appropriate time in an appropriate place – like NOT sitting at my desk in front of the class I teach (where I often check email as my students work on tutorials). Definately a great story and a great way to give my tearducts a workout.

  3. OMG that is so wonderful………made me cry too! Thanks for sharing a great story and here’s to all of our service men and women and veterans and their families! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!!

  4. ebooks textbooks Says:

    I have bookmarked your site, keep up the good work.

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