A great story of Iraq Veterans


October 10, 2003, 01:41 AM
Subject: GREAT STORY!!

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
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 together. 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 lets 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 U. S. Marines returning
from Iraq!!! 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
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
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
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 others
paid the price for my ability to moan and complain about a few minutes delay
to "me" those Heroes 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 hero's were allowed to gather their
things and be first off the plane. The cheers and applause continued until
last Marine stepped off and we all rose to go about our too often taken for
granted everyday freedoms......... 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
for those who cannot because they are no longer with us. GOD BLESS

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October 10, 2003, 05:02 AM
Good story. :)

October 10, 2003, 11:12 AM
My wife told me this story a while back:
A National Guardsman was still in his BDU's at a grocery store. Little kid asks, "Are you an Army man?". "Yes." The kid hugs his leg and says, "Thank you for protecting me!"

October 10, 2003, 11:55 AM

Please don't forget that many of these guys are only back on R&R, and will likely be returning to Iraq in less than 2 weeks. This is a newly instituted program.

I am glad the military finally allowed these guys back for a bit of relaxation, but I wish they would hurry up and get congress to approve the bill that will pay for their transportation. As I know it right now the military is paying for the trip from Iraq to Ramstein AB, Germany or Baltimore, MD. From there, it's on the soldier to pay his way home and back to those places for the trip back to Iraq.

To any of the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who are back on leave, or back for a bit longer, welcome back and I stand behind the actions you take in the gulf region. Make us proud, and stay safe!

I am preparing to spend some time over there myself in the coming years, see you there.

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