Serve with integrity. Care about those you serve. Share the love in your heart & soul.

Friday, June 15, 2012

#858 Sack Lunch

Thanks Orv. This brought tears to my eyes. I have seen it before and it still moves me to tears.

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 read. Perhaps I will 

get a short nap,' I thought. 

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 

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-five 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 passengers. 

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 my belongings 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.' 


1 comment:

Polly said...

So glad your young fellas will soon be outta there.
Pretty story...pity about the 'god bless you'...kinda ruined it..but pretty nonetheless.

Haven't read you for a while ...hope to get back to the rythm.