Veterans Day 2008

The last time I had to fly somewhere, I arrived at the airport too early.  To kill some time, I went to sit outside and enjoy a bit of the beautiful Austin day before going through security.

I was just sitting down when a woman’s voice came over the loudspeaker.  She announced that a flight that had just landed included a soldier returning home from Iraq.  As I was outside, I didn’t hear if there was any applause.  I assume there was.  I hope there was.

I looked up from the bench I was sitting on, and in front of me were a young man and woman having a cigarette together, standing next to her car in the drop-off lane.  The young man was in uniform.

They finished their cigarettes, then stood there next to the car and held each other for a long time.  Finally, they separated.  She drove away slowly, and he entered the airport to fly somewhere.  Somewhere away from his loved ones.  Maybe somewhere dangerous.


One Response to Veterans Day 2008

  1. Carol says:

    This happened on several flights I was on:
    1. I’ve seen businessmen in fancy suits in fist class give their seats to members of the military and shuffle back to middle seats in coach.

    2. Once I was on a flight with 3-4 returning soldiers who were all seated towards the back of the plane. When the plane landed, the pilot asked that we all stay in our seats and allow the soldiers to get off the plane first so they could at least make part of their journey a little bit shorter. As the soldiers walked up the aisle the entire plane erupted into applause. Later I saw them with their loved ones- surrounded by balloons, signs and flowers. I get a little weepy each time I think of that.

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