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Honor! Empty Honor!

Post by NonConformist on Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:00 pm

Sack Lunches

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 rea d. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I

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-fiv e 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

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 mybelongings 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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Post by namvet on Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:54 am

ive seen them in restaurants and I always tell the waiter to bring me their check.
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Post by Remo on Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:50 am

Great story.

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