Image courtesy: Pfc. David Hauk, U.S. Army. Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The only thing I like about airplanes

The fourth post in this blog's history was called 'The only thing I like about airports,' which conveyed my pride as an American in seeing so many U.S. troops walk through terminals. Eighteen months later, after witnessing the kindness of airline employees toward men and women in uniform dealing with the stress of a delayed flight, it's time for Part II.

I am on a plane to Atlanta, Georgia, a city dealing with deadly tornadoes that ravaged parts of the South throughout the day on Wednesday. Three uniformed active duty service members, two soldiers and one airman, are also in business class, with a fourth warrior on the way. After noticing an empty seat in this section, our flight attendant asked the soldier in front of me if he knows of any other troops on the plane. He said there is one service member toward the back who isn't wearing his uniform.

"I want him sitting up here," the flight attendant responded with a grin.

I am only seated up here because of a frequent flier program. The brave men and women in uniform beside me are relaxing in business class because they deserve it.

The AirTran Airways flight attendants on this plane are showing kindness that all airline employees, and all Americans, should show to the people who protect us. The lone fact that someone can post on his or her blog from a plane is a tribute to the sacrifices our troops have made since four airplanes were hijacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001, placing the future of American air travel in doubt.

If there are any senior military officers reading this post, you need not worry, as these fine troops have all turned down the free alcoholic beverages. I am honored to a raise my glass to these American heroes, as well as the flight attendants who lifted their spirits on this stormy night.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite memories of my time with the USO was at the Phila airport (ok, ok, most of my favorite memories are from there!). We had about 30 guys returning from their holiday pass. Since they were all coming in on different flights from different parts of the US, they all met up at the center (which is behind security) before heading back to post as one big group. Most of them locked up their rucksacks and suitcases in our storage closet outside of security while they waited so I had to take all of them up there to get their bags before they hopped on the charter bus.

    As I'm walking up the terminal, all the guys were trailing behind me, kind of like a mother duck and all her ducklings. It was just a sea of ACUs. All of a sudden, I hear one clap and then another and soon enough, the entire terminal was applauding the troops and it didn't end until the last guy reached the ramp in front of security. Most of the guys looked incredibly embarrassed and like they wanted to bolt through the security doors as quickly as possible. I, on the other hand, absolutely loved it. It gave me chills and I totally got choked up. It was pure awesomeness.