I sat in my seat of the Boeing 767 waiting for everyone to hurry and
stow their carry-ons and grab a seat so we could start what I was sure
to be a long, uneventful flight home.
With the huge capacity and slow moving people taking their time to stuff
luggage far too big for the overhead and never paying much attention to
holding up the growing line behind them, I simply shook my head knowing
that this flight was not starting out very well. I was anxious to get
home to see my loved ones so I was focused on my issues and just felt
like standing up and yelling for some of these clowns to get their act
I knew I couldn't say a word so I just thumbed thru the "Sky Mall"
magazine from the seat pocket in front of me.
You know it's really getting rough when you resort to the over priced,
useless sky mall crap to break the monotony.
With everyone finally seated, we just sat there with the cabin door open
and no one in any hurry to get us going although we were well past the
scheduled take off time.
No wonder the airline industry is in trouble I told myself.
Just then, the attendant came on the intercom to inform us all that we
were being delayed.
The entire plane let out a collective groan.
She resumed speaking to say "We are holding the aircraft for some very
special people who are on their way to the plane and the delay shouldn't
be more than 5 minutes.
The word came after waiting six times as long as we were promised that I
was finally going to be on my way home.
Why the hoopla over "these" folks?
I was expecting some celebrity or sport figure to be the reason for the
hold up ..
Just get their butts in a seat and let's hit the gas I thought.
The attendant came back on the speaker to announce in a loud and excited
voice that we were being joined by several
returning home from
Just as they walked on board, the entire plane erupted into applause.
The men were a bit taken by surprise by the 340 people cheering for them
as they searched for their seats.
They were having their hands shook and touched by almost everyone who
was within an arm's distance of them as they passed down the aisle. One
elderly woman kissed the hand of one of the Marines as he passed by her.
The applause, whistles and cheering didn't stop for a long time.
When we were finally airborne, I was not the only civilian checking his
conscience as to the delays in "me" getting home, finding my easy chair,
a cold beverage and the remote in my hand.
These men had done for all of us and I had been complaining silently
about "me" and "my" issues I took for granted the everyday freedoms I
enjoy and the conveniences of the American way of life.
I took for granted that others had paid the price for my ability to moan
and complain about a few minutes delay to "me" while those Heroes were
going home to their loved ones.
I attempted to get my selfish outlook back in order and minutes before
we landed, I suggested to the attendant that she announce over the
speaker a request for everyone to remain in their seats until our heroes
to gather their things and be first off the plane.
The cheers and applause continued until the last Marine stepped off and
we all rose to go about our too often taken for granted everyday
I felt proud of them.
I felt it an honor and a privilege to be among the first to welcome them
home and say "Thank You for a job well done."
I vowed that I will never forget that flight nor the lesson learned. I
can't say it enough, THANK YOU to those Veterans and active servicemen
and women who may read this and a prayer for those who cannot because
they are no longer with us.
WELCOME HOME! AND THANKS FOR A JOB WELL DONE!!!!!
This is a ribbon for soldiers fighting in
Pass it on to everyone and pray.